Sunday, November 14, 2010

Passions of the Dead-L.J. Sellers

Passions of the Dead
L.J. Sellers
Spellbinder Press. Oct 13 2010, $13.99
ISBN: 9780979518287

Eugene, Oregon Police Sergeant Lammers informs the sixteen detectives that two of them will be cut. Twenty year homicide detective Wade Jackson fears he is one of those being reduced from the force because he recently was suspended and has injuries. The meeting is interrupted when the desk officer informs Lammers four people were murdered at a house on Randall St. Lammers sends Jackson and four other cops to the murder scene while ordering the mobile crime unit to go there and informs the DA and ME of the mass murder.

One of the reported is dead, a teenage girl Lori Walker, still lives so is rushed to the hospital. The ME reports fifteen years old Nick Walker has been dead for ten hours. The other two victims are their parents Jared and Carla; her sister Rita discovered the bodies. The prime suspect is the victim’s cousin Shane who was laid off his job and has a drug problem. However, the case takes strange spins as the crime scene fails to make sense; Lori survives but remembers nothing before vanishing; a blackmail link is found tied to Jared’s former boss Roy Engall; and a second house invasion occurs. Diligently Jackson and the others keep pushing though he expects to be canned.

The latest Jackson police procedural (see The Sex Club) is a complex mass murder case made more convoluted by fascinating flashbacks to what led to the homicides although the time transfers back to the present is not as lucid as the trips to the past. The investigation is top rate with Jackson and his team persistently following leads that not only fail to make the puzzle fit, but seem to expand the frame. Readers will enjoy accompanying the cops as they work the case.

Harriet Klausner

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