By Robert Francis
Motive: An Alex Delaware Novel
By Jonathan Kellerman
Best selling novelist Jonathan Kellerman reunites his popular protagonist child psychologist Alex Delaware, and LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis in this puzzling case that has the two men searching for clues that will link a cold case with a more recent murder.
Katherine Hennepin was strangled and stabbed in her home. The police focused on a single suspect but couldn’t get a conviction because the person had a watertight alibi. Although the open case bothered Lieutenant Sturgis, he had to set the folder aside and move on to other investigations.
When Ursula Corey is gunned down execution style, the crime points to revenge rather than robbery or something along those lines. Two men, the dead woman’s ex husband and her present lover, top the suspect list until an odd, new clue suggests a link to the Hennepin murder.
Then another murder scene with the same taunting signature suggests there is something else going on here. It seems Sturgis is looking at a serial killer and he’ll need his friend’s assistance to find this deranged and lethal individual.
Trained as a clinical psychologist, Jonathan Kellerman knows how to peel back the layers and expose the workings of a deranged killer. He’s so good at it that his novels have already sold over 75 million copies worldwide.
This masterful storyteller has again created a taut, action packed plot that will keep his readers riveted to the page until the final pages of this exciting thriller.
The Beige Man
By Helene Tursten
A stolen BMW careens through the streets of Goteborg, Sweden, and hits and kills a pedestrian outside the Swedish Television studios. Later abandoned and set on fire, the stolen car is located by the police. Augmented by police dogs, a search of the area where the car was left turns up the body of a young girl in a root cellar.
The tragic circumstances taken on an odd turn when it is determined that the dead pedestrian was a retired police officer. Is his death in some way connected to the dead girl or is it just a coincidence that these two crimes occurred on the same evening?
The following investigation takes Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues into a convoluted case that involves international sex trafficking and takes her to Tenerife in her quest for answers.
This novel appeared in Sweden in 2007 but didn’t make it to North America until last year. As more of the novels in this series are published in English, the Scandinavian crime writer has attracted more attention and her appreciative fan base continues to grow.
A Ghostly Undertaking
By Tonya Kappes
Witness Impulse/Harper. $7.99
If it’s not enough that 28-year-old Emma Lee Raines and her sister are now operating the family mortuary, Emma Lee is now experiencing “funeral trauma”. Putting it another way, she is able to communicate with those who have “passed over”!
This isn’t an ability Emma Lee is particularly proud of but she is stuck with it and, in this instance, she’ll use this undesired skill to find who killed one of her clients who won’t rest peacefully until her murder is solved.
What’s more, since her grandmother is a suspect in the investigation, Emma Lee has an added incentive to work with the local sheriff to run the killer to ground.
Fortunately, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross realizes that Emma Lee has special abilities that can help him solve the case, so she doesn’t have to hide the fact she, often unwilling, is able to get see and communicate with the dearly departed.
Usually I take a pass when it comes to novels like this with talking ghosts and other supernatural elements, but after reading just a few chapters of this one I was hooked. Not only are the characters fun, but the writing is also crisp and the plot features some unexpected twists and moves quickly.
This was a fast read that turned out to be far more enjoyable than I expected. In fact, I won’t mind reading the next novel, “A Ghostly Grave”, in this new series to see if it is as satisfying.
By Glen Erik Hamilton
William Morrow. $26.99
Raised by his grandfather, Van Shaw was set on a course to follow a life of crime. But as a teen he walked away from this life and joined the military. Estranged from his grandfather for a number of years, the Army Ranger receives a letter requesting that he come home.
Curious why, after ten years of silence, his grandfather wants to see him, Van returns to Seattle only to find the old man dead. Determined to discover the gunman and clear his own name from the suspect list, Van delves into the criminal world he was once prepped for.
It comes as no surprise that his grandfather’s high-stakes crime world is wrought with danger, but this young man is about to discover some dark secrets are perhaps better left hidden away.
This debut thriller with noir overtones introduces a new writer who shows plenty of promise. You’ll want to get in on the ground floor of this new series.
Cane and Abe
By James Grippando
Part murder mystery, part dark marital drama, this latest thriller from James Grippando mixes together the tale of a serial killer dubbed “Cutter”, because he mutilates his victims with a machete and dumps them in the fields owned by a sugar company, and the missing wife of Abe Beckman, a prosecutor with the Miami State Attorney’s Office.
Called in to monitor the investigation of the killer’s latest victim, Beckman soon has another problem of a more personal nature on his hands; his new wife has gone missing. Finding himself under suspicion for Angelia’s disappearance because of the recent marital problems the couple has encountered, the attorney has more on his plate than anyone should have to deal with.
The media senses a sensational story, his friends begin to doubt him and even those closest to him begin to think there could be some serious doubts about Beckman’s involvement in the disappearance. Also, how is all this connected with the sinister “Cutter”?
That’s a good question and one you’ll find the answer to as you read this gripping novel that forces you to sift through a labyrinth of lies, secrets and unexpected manipulations.