AT THEIR OWN GAME by Frank Zafiro / Z-View

At Their Own Game by Frank Zafiro

Trade Paperback: ‎ 282 pages
Publisher: ‎ Code 4 Press

First sentence…

So far, I’ve been to jail three different ways.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Jake Stankovic should have known better.  After all, Jake was a cop.  He knew the trouble sleeping with another man’s wife could cause.  But Helen was worth the risk.  She was sexy, seductive and Jake was in over his head before he found out Helen was married to Kyle Faulkner, a hard-case detective from his precinct.  When Helen stops seeing Jake, divorces her husband and leaves town without a goodbye, Jake plans to move on with his life.  Detective Faulkner has other plans.

When Jake gets into an off-duty fight, Faulkner uses his pull to get the charges trumped up.  Jake’s forced to take a plea that costs him his job and jail time.

But that was a few years ago.  Since then Jake has run a two-man crew dealing in stolen goods.  Matt and Brent look to Jake for jobs and have agreed to his rules.  They work only with Jake.  They don’t deal in drugs. They don’t do anything on or off a job that would draw attention.  They keep a low profile.  Things have worked out well for the three… until recently.  With the country in an economic downturn, folks aren’t buying their goods.  Jake and his crew need money, and when a great opportunity falls into their lap, they agree to break their rules.  Just one time… for a big drug deal.

The drug deal goes sideways and the crew’s money is taken. Getting the cash back will mean going up against a motorcycle gang.  Then Detective Faulkner makes it clear he has Jake in his sights again.  Jake fears one of his crew might have turned rat.  Any one of these things would be trouble enough.  Could it get any worse?

And that’s when Helen returns with a simple favor…

At Their Own Game is one of my all-time favorite books.  It totally resonated with me.  Zafiro has created realistic characters and placed them in a story that moves.  The plot takes unexpected twists while still following the tropes expected in a classic noir.  The dialogue is realistic.  I flew through the story both wanting to see how it would end and not wanting it to end.  At Their Own Game is a novel that I will want to read again.  It’s that good.

At Their Own Game rates 5 of 5 stars.

At Their Own Game Trade Paperback

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