Monday, March 8, 2010

Dark Alley-Evan Marshall

Dark Alley
Evan Marshall
Severn House, Mar 2010, $27.95
ISBN: 9780727868350

NYC Department of Sanitation Manhattan Central District 13 Section Chief Anna Winthrop breaks up a fight between two crew members, Ernesto Balcazer and Garry Thompson over a third crew person Kelly Moore. Soon afterward, Garry’s partner Terrence King calls Anna to say his teammate vanished after going behind the New Amsterdam Mews to collect garage. The next day Anna’s boyfriend police officer Santos Reyes learns of Garry’s body found in the Mews. NYPD Detectives Rinaldi and Roche lead the investigation.

Anna thinks the link is to a rape incident in Iraq where Garry served two tours and a brother in arms was accused, jailed and killed in prison waiting a local trial. However, the pattern does not hold up when a second corpse of a murdered woman is found inside the Amster Mews. Dubbed by the media as the Mews Killer Anna continues her inquiries trying to find the elusive link that ties the corpses together when a cold blooded killer kills two more times and targets her too.

This is a superb Hidden Manhattan amateur sleuth (See Death Is Disposable and Evil Justice) as Anna with the cooperation of her boyfriend conducts her own investigation as she believes that NYPD will not probe deep enough to seek the patterns to the murders. Readers will find it difficult to accept that Santos escorts his civilian girlfriend to crime scenes and keeps her informed on the official investigation that he has no need to know; and likewise the two detectives allow him and Anna to stay at the crime scenes. Still this is an entreating whodunit as Evan Marshall provides tremendous red herrings and several wonderful twists as he introduces readers to fake Manhattan Mews as ideal murder locales.

Harriet Klausner

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