Robert K. Tannenbaum
Gallery, Jun 7 2011, $26.00
Last July, a serial killer murdered Olivia Yancy after raping and torturing her. This sexual sadistic predator also killed the victim’s mother Beth Jenkins. Felix Avecedo is a bit slow and will say anything necessary to end any pressure he feels from others. Detective Brock picks up Bronx teen Felix for questioning in another case; the rape, torture and murder of Ms. Adkins.
A teen assaulted by the Columbia University slasher identifies Felix as her attacker. Police officer Graziani hates working in the Bronx and wants to go back to his former Manhattan precinct, maneuvers Felix into confessing to the three killings. Felix’s friend Alex and his mother Amelia talk to the New York District Attorney Butch Karp’s wife Marlene Campi; they explain to her Felix’s handicap. Marlene believes NYPD coerced Felix into his confession. This means the real culprit remains free pouncing on his next victim. Her spouse also thinks Felix is innocent even as the media howls for execution. Butch knows he cannot afford a mistake as his wife follows clues to a psychopath, inadvertently protected by a cop who will do anything even kill to be the city’s hero.
Robert K. Tannenbaum writes a strong brisk police procedural with legal thriller elements. Readers will know the truth about Felix and empathize with his psychotic fear of someone pressuring and shouting at him that cripples him in this case into confessing when he knows he is not the culprit. There are life lessons that add an extra layer of complexity to this deep serial killer whodunit.