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The Khan Dilemma by Ron Goodreau


Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

khanIn my opinion, Ron Goodreau has turned out the best first novel I have ever read. He has mixed so many intriguing stories and characters into this book but there is no doubt where you are while reading. Some authors don’t know when to stop introducing changing facets but Ron has worked it perfectly.

Bernard Harris was walking his dog in his quiet upscale California neighborhood when he heard a scream from a nearby house. As he got closer he heard shots fired followed by a noise like someone or something tumbling down the stairs. Then a loud noise came from the front door that sounded as though someone was trying to open the door but was having trouble in so doing. The door opened, out ran a man with a gun in his hand showing much surprise that someone was in the walkway blocking his escape. Harris carried an old police weapon called a sap, which was a hard object used in other times to persuade a victim to talk, but in this case Harris used it on the escaping mans head several times until he went down. The police came and arrested the man, Raheem Khan, not knowing what the fight or shooting was all about, only that there were victims in the house.

Detective Dale Cox was an old rugged cop that ran things by the seat-of-his-pants style. He arrived at the scene, got all the information he could from the first arrival cops, and from Mr. Harris. He was in charge and left no doubt regarding that fact. He spied a car in front of the house containing two men who he found out from the other cops were FBI, but they didn’t go into the house. The house was very mysterious with little or no furnishings, clothing, or any lived in look. What was this Khan fellow doing in the house, what were the dead men’s reasons for being there, and why the FBI guys outside? Before leaving the site, Cox went to the FBI agents car and discussed their part of this case. All they wanted at this time was for Cox and his bosses to cooperate with them in the case regardless of how it came out.

Richard Danko was the District Attorney for the county and was irate that Cox, a homicide cop, was visiting him in his office and bringing along two FBI agents. He was the DA and didn’t want to have to associate with Cox or the FBI! Was it terrorism? He did agree to cooperate with them in this Khan case. Danko wanted to bring one of his enemies, former DA Max Siegel, in on the case because he wanted someone there to be the fall guy if needed. Max was married to a gorgeous woman, Irina, who also gets involved in the case.

I have gotten you into the story but I think this is far enough now that I have whetted your appetite. Believe me there is non-stop action right through the last page. There is intrigue, murder, cop vs. cop, DA vs. DA, and old friends and enemies trying to work together but still pulling in opposite directions. Who do you root for in this great novel? Who will end up working with who and who will turn on their fellow helpers?


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