Friday, September 3, 2010

The Body and the Blood-Michael Lister

The Body and the Blood
Michael Lister
Five Star, Oct 6 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594148934

Recovering alcoholic John Jordan is the prison chaplain at the Potter Correctional Institution, a place that affirms one of Florida’s strongest growth industries is filing away convicts. One section of the prison is the Protective Management Unit, which houses those inmates who would not survive within the general populace.

John is concerned over a note he found that states someone will be murdered. He meets a convict Justin Menge’s sister Paula who is visiting him for the first time since he was incarcerated four years ago because she now believes her sibling is innocent. John is taken aback to find his former father-in-law, also a recovering alcoholic Tom Daniels, at the prison. When John was married to Susan, he and Tom did not get along at all. Tom explains that he has a witness innmate artist Justin Menge, who will testify that another inmate Martinez raped his wife while eluding cops. However, during mass, someone somehow murders Menge in front of Jordan and Daniels who swears no one entered the victim’s locked cell. With a chance to combine his two loves of being a cop, which he was, with his regular job, John investigates the homicide while beginning to reconcile with Susan.

The latest John Jordan whodunit (see Flesh and Blood, Power in the Blood and Blood of the Lamb) is a great locked cell mystery as John and Tom struggle with how the homicide occurred. There are numerous suspects ranging from the victim’s sister to his “doppelganger” lover to the man who he was to testify against him as well as staff and other inmates. With a fabulous late twist, readers will fully relish Chaplain Jordon’s investigation.

Harriet Klausner

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