The Disposables by David Putnam is his first novel and it is a moral conundrum. This new series introduces us to Big Bad Johnson, a black cop from LA who did time and is on parole. He killed a man: “Derek Sams ruined more lives than he would’ve ever know; my daughter, my grandson, my father, and now Wicks and his wife, Barbara. The insidious tentacles of narcotics burrow deep into the fabric of society.” (p 240) The moral conundrum is what he and his new girlfriend, Marie, are doing. They are kidnapping children. Not for ransom but to save them from their abusive parents. Marie works in a hospital and has seen too many abused children returned to the wrong parents. She took her first child by accident and then they continued until they had 7 children. One child was taken from a diplomat who used lots of power to retrieve his son.
The moral conundrum is about taking the law into your own hands, even when you are right. Bruno Johnson is a good character and Putnam has addressed some touchy issues in an interesting way by telling a story, a good story that leaves the reader questioning things. Putnam is dealing with sensitive and explosive issues.