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Alex Segura is a writer aged well past his years, and with abilities that surpass even the greatest authors of private investigator novels. He is certainly a

force to be reckoned with—once, I compared John Copenhaver’s standalone Dodging and Burning to Laura Lippman’s fascinating standalones. Likewise, I can easily compare Segura’s Pete series to Lippman’s Tess series. Segura is clearly influenced by some of the greatest writers in crime fiction, while also surpassing many of them in a way that seems effortless and grand all at once.

Segura’s newest novel, Blackout, is a stunner. Imagine the most intense, well-written and executed movie you’ve ever seen, adding to this description that it has a climax leaving you biting your nails and bouncing your feet. This is the cinematic equivalent of Segura’s literary feat. The novel continues the series in which private investigator Pete Fernandez finds himself battling crime once again, and, yet again, he is joined by Kathy, his loyal sidekick who he may share more than fraternal feelings for.

It’s an absolute crime to give spoilers to any of Segura’s novels, each increasing in intensity and readability as Segura paces himself and steadily progresses through the life of Pete and Kathy. Note that this is a series not to miss, and one must begin with Pete’s first adventure in order to get the full impact of the fourth book in the series. Segura’s writing is a force to be reckoned with, as is the hurricane that Pete has to wrestle his way through in order to seek out justice for the villain of the novel. Again, if I give away too much, it’s not just an injustice to Segura, but to the reader as well. These books are meant to be inhaled as quickly as possible, and then yearned for until the reader returns to the beginning of the series just to refresh one’s memory regarding Pete’s life.

This book is an absolute tour-de-force, which, with even a description such as this, perhaps undersells Segura’s abilities as a writer. By the time we reach the climax of the novel, it’s impossible not to grip a seat or the book itself in order to stay in place long enough to finish Blackout. I’ve felt this experience with so few books, but Blackout undoubtedly delivers. The epic conclusion to the novel will knock you senseless just as hurricane winds and showers might leave you dazed with awe.

The biggest question now is what will happen in the fifth book in the series. But I won’t jump that far until it’s published. Segura has an ability to create and flesh out believable characters who, despite all their flaws, are beloved by readers and critics alike. When first considering this novel for the most anticipated books of the year list I made in January, I was determined to re-read the first three books in an effort to remind myself of the breathless pace and framing of the narrative Segura presents.

Check out reviewer Matthew Turbeville's website, Writers Tell All (//

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