Thursday, June 2, 2011

Death Toll-Jim Kelly

Death Toll
Jim Kelly
Minotaur, Jun 21 2011, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312573522

Rookie West Norfolk Defective Inspector Peter Shaw and his experienced partner Detective Sergeant George Valentine, who worked with the former’s late father, are assigned two cold cases. Almost three decades ago a, mixed race male vanished without a trace. The moving of a graveyard at Flensing Meadow Cemetery finds his remains on top of the coffin of homicide victim Nora Tilden a pub owner. The victim died from a trauma to his head.

The two cops also seek a ruthless killer in which Peter’s father and Valentine failed to solve the case years ago when they investigated the homicides; in fact they fumbled the inquiry costing a potential conviction. That failed inquiry still haunts Valentine and Shaw’s dad took it to retirement and soon afterward the grave regretting his biggest professional error. As the neighbors offer no useful information, more homicides occur.

This strong Shaw-Valentine atmospheric police procedural (see Death Watch) is a terrific character driven thriller as the two British detectives work a pair of murder cold cases in which the haunting one has heated up with new homicides. Fast-paced and vividly described, readers will feel the cutting cold of the West Norfolk coast although the investigations are difficult to follow. Readers will enjoy the second chance at redemptions for two good diligent cops although one is through his surrogate son.

Harriet Klausner

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