Five Star, Apr 7 2010, $25.95
In Jasper, Indiana at West Jasper High School, two students shot five of their peers to death before committing suicide. On the wall of the school library was left a cryptic verse that hinted at a satanic cult ritual. However, the cops found no evidence of such beyond the enigmatic message so they assumed athletes bullied the two as four of the five were on teams. The fifth victim Keri Schoening was ruled to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Keri’s murder hammered at the gut of Joan Bertetto, a close friend of the victim’s mom Susan. With her spouse reporter Nick she attends the funeral of Keri.
Soon afterward, Nick and Joan are visiting her still in shock parents in Jasper. However, strange things occur starting with the skinning of the family cat Mr. Jangles and the snatching of Keri’s corpse from the cemetery. His paper asks Nick to investigate as other animal abuses have been reported. He soon begins to revise the theory that the jocks were the target to the belief that satanic worshippers wanted Keri who was known to believe in Jesus.
The latest Bertetto investigative mystery (seer Second Advent and Angels Whisper) is a timely mesmerizing thriller. At times graphic with the violence to animals, Saintly Remains is fast-paced throughout as the clock ticks down with the next teen victim being prepared for sacrifice. Tony Perona has another strong entry in what is one of the better mystery series.