Allen J. Hubin

REX BURNS – The Killing Zone. Viking, hardcover, 1988. Penguin, paperback, 1989.

REX BURNS Gabe Wager

   Rex Burns’ latest about Denver homicide detective Gabe Wager is The Killing Zone. I’ve muttered before about Wager, a gloomy, morose, irascible chap with a recently acquired payload of guilt to boot.

   But this one has a strong contemporary plot, with good suspense and character dynamics, and I was well swept along with the flow. A kid finds the city’s latest corpse in a vacant lot. It’s Horace Green, city councilman, black, hero and defender of the black community. Now wearing a bullet hole in the back of his head.

   Racial motives spring to mind, and the city gathers itself for explosion. Wager’s boss wants him to look only in one white place for a killer, for a tension-defusing solution. Wager, who rarely takes orders from anyone and routinely works sixteen-hour days, will look everywhere.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier,
       Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 1989.

      The Gabe Wager series

1. The Alvarez Journal (1975)

REX BURNS Gabe Wager

2. The Farnsworth Score (1977)

REX BURNS Gabe Wager

3. Speak for the Dead (1978)

REX BURNS Gabe Wager

4. Angle of Attack (1979)
5. The Avenging Angel (1983)
6. Strip Search (1984)
7. Ground Money (1986)
8. The Killing Zone (1988)
9. Endangered Species (1993)
10. Blood Line (1995)

REX BURNS Gabe Wager

11. The Leaning Land (1997)

   Rex Burns also wrote four books with PI Devlin Kirk as the lead detective. All 15 books have recently been published as ebooks by Mysterious Press.