Friday, May 7, 2010

Death Watch-Jim Kelly

Death Watch
Jim Kelly
Minotaur, May 25 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312644901

On 1 September, the day that then teenager Norma Jean Judd vanished without a trace eighteen years ago, her twin brother Bryan lays charred in the Queen Victoria Hospital incinerator. The case is assigned to Detective Inspector Peter Shaw assisted by Detective. Sergeant George Valentine.

Peter initially is unaware that his father, who was Valentine’s former partner, worked the Norma jean disappearance back in 1992 as did George; that inquiry crippled their careers. After Peter informs the victim’s family, he rescues a reluctant frightened man, mumbling about the Organ Grinder, from a nearby homeless shelter inferno that he learns later was arson. The two West Norfolk cops find more corpses in which body organs have been harvested; leaving both to wonder how the dots connect now and eighteen years ago.

This excellent British police procedural (see Death Wore White) will bring much acclaim to Jim Kelly. The story line is fast paced from the early call to Peter that a homicide occurred at QVH and never slows down as both cops seek redemption; one for his dad and the other for himself. Readers need to set aside time as they will want to go every step of the way with Peter and George who feel they are on a Death Watch one step behind a surgically diabolical killer.

Harriet Klausner

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