J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years, earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after one hurricane too many he left for South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.
Learn more about Mark and his books on his Website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A grisly homicide. An international threat.
The stakes have never been higher for Detective Roland March. The victim’s head is missing, but what intrigues Detective Roland March is the hand. The pointing finger must be a clue–but to what? According to the FBI, the dead man was an undercover asset tracking the flow of illegal arms to the Mexican cartels. To protect the operation, they want March to play along with the cover story. With a little digging, though, he discovers the Feds are lying. And they’re not the only ones.
In an upside-down world of paranoia and conspiracy, March finds himself dogged by injury and haunted by a tragic failure. Forced to take justice into his own hands, his twisting investigation leads him into the very heart of darkness, leaving March with nothing to lose–and nothing to hide.
Nothing to Hide, Bertrand’s third Roland March Mystery, takes Detective March on a convoluted trail where nothing is as it seems, it is impossible to know who to trust or where their allegiance lies. Another tragic death that takes place during an attempt to track down evidence in a baffling murder places March on off-duty status. Despite his orders, Detective March takes it upon himself to ferret out the truth about the victim’s true identity in the midst of layers of lies. The more he learns, the more confusing the picture becomes.
From the streets of Houston to the back roads of Mexico, the plot of Nothing to Hide involves everyone from the Federal Government, to gun runners, to drug cartels, double agents, and other nefarious characters with agendas of their own. Narrated in the present tense, the story also includes flashbacks that connect people and events from Roland’s past to his present case. Nothing to Hide is fairly stark and graphic with several violent scenes and plenty of action and drama. Each character is well portrayed, especially Roland whose emotions and reactions give the reader an intimate look at what makes him tick. Although his friend Carter continues to challenge him with biblical truth, Roland is still resistant to his overtures. I personally think that his shell was beginning to soften a bit and look forward to the time he caves.
The plot has so many twists, turns, and surprises that it is difficult to keep it all straight and there is very little chance of second guessing Roland. There are some surprises that I definitely did not see coming. Even the final resolution was not tied up neatly with a bow. At least one remaining character was left with a huge question mark about their true role in the case. I suspect that character may make an appearance in a future Roland March Mystery.
If you are a fan of dark and gritty crime novels, Nothing to Hide and the other books of this series would be a good choice. However, you probably don’t want to lend them to your kids.