W. GLENN DUNCAN – Rafferty: Cannon’s Mouth. Rafferty #5. Gold Medal, paper back original; 1st printing, June 1990.

   There were six books in the Rafferty series, and you can find my comments on the previous entry, Rafferty: Wrong Place, Wrong Time (1989) here. I enjoyed that one, but I did add a caveat that “[b]oth of the cases Rafferty is working on turn out to be very light ones.”

   This one’s even lighter, I’m sorry to say. Rafferty’s home base is Dallas, but except for the location, you can see a lot of similarities between his character and that other more famous PI who worked in the Boston area. I use “worked” in the past tense, because another author is writing up his adventures now, and it’s like spinning the wheels on a car stuck in a snowbank. There’s lots and lots of action, but you get nowhere awfully fast.

   Which is a whole other review altogether, I grant you.

   Here’s the story in this one. While Rafferty’s on a surveillance case that he’s being paid for, he’s accidentally mistaken for a hit man, but when he does a civic duty as a private citizen and warns the cops, all kinds of warning signals go off. Rafferty, quite naturally decides to stay involved, on his own clock.

   There is a lot of the usual banter between Rafferty and the cops and Rafferty and his close lady friend Hilda Gardner, but this time around both it (the banter) and the story seem forced, and the ending, while it fits the story, seems to come out of nowhere. This one’s no more than average, all the way through.