So, a few months after the events of Crusher when both Finn's parents were murdered in cold blood and Finn solved the mystery behind one of them, he now has a big wad of cash inherited to him as well as a big mansion in Spain. With the giant advance, he decided to use the money to open up a gym and got help from a former boxer Delroy and his wife Winnie. Amazing, right? Finn owns the company at seventeen. The gym is doing rather fine but he has to be careful, especially since people sue for being too beat up and Delroy is in debt with a slimy businessman named Sherwood. But all of that begins to matter ten-fold when Finn's lawyer and older new love interest Nicky, goes disappearing after a very bad day at the gym. But what was Nicky the lawyer for? All of Finn's money that was otherwise liquid at the hands of her. That has disappeared too. The only footage there is is of her with a swollen up face leaving the country at an airport. How can Finn find his girlfriend, his money, all the while protecting Delroy and Winnie from contract vandals?
All I really have to say is, Wow, what a macabre novel. We are introduced to many kidnap suspects we meet from coincidences all over, such as Nicky's husband Harry, a woman who knew Nicky because of a tag on a shirt, a woman in the middle of a mystery case involving a building that burned down with a couple people in it, and a man who might have some business with this money. Right away, I had my list of suspects, especially Sherwood, who seemed quite similar to McGovern and normally I don't like an overabundance of characters but here having two big bosses is double the fun. And let me tell you something. In the Detentionaire cartoon, there's a mystery with a similar tone, and after accidentally stumbling across a few spoiler-like pictures, I thought on the cartoon there was no mystery left but then the cartoon differed from that and twisted me in knots and then undid me to do it again. This is kind of what Incinerator did. Not only that, in this book when one of the suspects is killed, I obviously didn't see it coming and in that chapter, the book actually feels like a prison escape. I really enjoy escapes from the law in literature and that's why I read fugitive books, and this book wasn't even advertised as one and it quenched my thirst, even after it left the room where I could feel the breath of the cops approaching. And right when I thought my other suspicion wasn't the one who did it and I erased him from thought, it ended up being just that. And not only is the mystery great, its delivery is extraordinary too. For instance, Finn asks, "Do you know a Nicky Hale?" The response: "Never heard of him." The reason this was a good part was the "him". It proves that the answer is sincere, and if it was "Never heard of her," that would've been eyebrow-sprouting too. The punches and martial arts are still there, good as ever and not scared to back down just because the fuzz are approaching.
Like its predecessor, there is a relationship element, and even though I sort of missed Zoe this time and the relationship this time is a little weird, I didn't really mind it and there are once again a few lines that make it something nail-biting. And with a better ending, this book surpasses Crusher and I'm buying Shredder when I go to the bookstore again. And maybe I'll change this to a 4 star, I'd have to think about it for a little while. But for now...one of the best books of the year.