Finding Nina (City Different, #3) - Stephen Hazlett

Even though this says this is a "City Different Mystery" there is no mystery in this book.  This is a crime novel.  Everything is laid out from start to finish and there is nothing to figure out.  That doesn't take away from the fact that this is quite an interesting story.

Nina is the object of attention and affection from Ray Sanchez, former police office in jail for  DWI's, and Sammy Garza, small time B&E man.  When they meet in jail and Sammy discovers that Nina is Ray's former girlfriend, he begins plotting how to cash in on the fact that she has been married to several very wealthy men in the time since he last saw her.  The triangle these three make drives the motivations and action through the rest of the book. 

This is not what you would call a "fast-paced thriller." The action doesn't move quickly until you get to the end but it kept my attention from page one.  The characters are very clearly drawn and the writing is clear and professional. I appreciate that today much more than I use to. I find the motivations of the characters to be very believable.  

If there is one thing I would like to have changed, it would be that I didn't feel it had to be set in Santa Fe to work. (City Different is the nickname for Santa Fe.)  I felt it could have been set anywhere and the story wouldn't have changed.  I would like to have felt the atmosphere of Santa Fe more clearly.  Atmosphere is my favorite quality in books and this was just a bit lacking in that. This is the third in a series of which I hadn't read the first two but I don't think that affected my enjoyment of the book at all.  It is grittier than what I usually read and the language was saltier but I enjoyed it and would like to read the first two in the series.

I received this book from the author through a librarything giveway and have given it an honest review.