A Dangerous Man

With Charlie Huston's final book in his Hank Thompson trilogy, A Dangerous Man, the temptation is there for me to be disappointed. After all, it comes after following an excellent (and a finalist for the Gumshoe award for Best Thriller in 2006) sequel, Six Bad Things, and the first and penultimate book of the series, Caught Stealing. (That Caught Stealing has not been adapted into a film yet is something of a crime.) Yes, the expectations were high, and A Dangerous Man delivers, but I think the sense of euphoria and escape is tempered by the somber finality of the end.It's interesting to speculate how I would perceive the book if the character of Hank wasn't so far removed from the first two physically; he has descended into what Booklist appropriately called "Fat Elvis" mode -- popping pills constantly and quite a bit slovenly and overweight. However, an encounter with a new baseball phenom-to-be, with Hank as his bodyguard, sets the final, ironic chapter in motion. No need to worry if there will be violence for Hank to mete out or for situations to take surprising turns; if you've read this far, you come to expect it and applaud the fitting end of a great series.

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