Author: Gary Kassay
Publication: Sapphire Star Publishing LLC (June 13, 2012)
Description: Two police officers have been brutally killed by having their throats ripped out, but the wound appears to have been done with surgical precision. With no witnesses, no forensic evidence, and two bizarre clues to follow, the case falls to Inspector Duke Becker, head of the high profile Special Investigations Unit, Homicide. Becker and his squad must find the killer before more cops are murdered. The case will lead Becker on a wild chase through the streets of New York City, back over 15 years into the past and to a cover-up that will rock City Hall. Along with his brash, wildly dressed young partner, Jimmy Nova, the beautiful Michelle Goldman, Augie "Doggie" Rivera, and the Mutt and Jeff team of Bobby Green and Joe Robinson, Becker will need to enlist his boyhood friend in charge of CSU, Manny Velez. Add a ruthless newswoman known to the NYPD as "Wicked Witch Wilson" and a new love interest for Becker in the gorgeous and brilliant Dr. Elizabeth Cunningham, Becker is about to embark on the most difficult and dangerous case in his 20 plus years. Will Becker and his squad be able to catch the killer before more cops die or will the killer have the last laugh?
My Thoughts: In this mystery we follow along with Duke Becker and his unit as they try to solve the brutal murders of two cops and catch the criminal before he kills again. The two cops don't seem to have anything in common. They have never worked the same precinct; they didn't work on the same cases. And the murder weapon is a mystery too. Their throats were torn out and shards of steel were found in the wounds. Whatever happened, happened fast. There were no defensive wounds. Also traces of canidae saliva was found.
Duke and his partner Jimmy are busy investigating any sort of lead. One of the leads takes Duke to a veterinary clinic where he meets Dr. Liz Cunningham. They are instantly attracted to each other and quickly fall in love. Fitting in a romance around a homicide investigation takes some doing but it does make Duke a more well-rounded character. The scene when they first met and Duke reacts with all the savoir-faire of a twelve-year-old was funny. Seeing this responsible cop reduced to stammering made him more human but it also made me wonder how old he actually was.
Some of the chapters are told in the first person from the criminals point of view while other chapters are told in the first person from Duke's point of view. I felt that the writing in this one started out a bit stilted and some of the actions and dialog were unrealistic enough to throw me out of the story. As the story went on, though, I stopped noticing and got caught up in the plot and the hunt for the killer.
A few of the things that tossed me out of the story had to do with names. Duke is named Duke because his father was a big John Wayne fan. Whenever he is introduced to someone and they call him by his police rank - Inspector - he asks that they call him Duke. It doesn't matter who he introduced to, he always asks to be called Duke. And his partner had a name thing too. Whenever he was introduced to people he asked them to call him Jimmy or Nova. It seemed strange that he couldn't decide what he wanted to be called.
The plot was well-developed and fast-paced. Duke does have a TSTL (too stupid to live) moment or two at a crucial spot in the story. After insisting that his cops have backup, he proceeds into a very dangerous situation without any. Luckily, and in the nick of time, his partner does have his back.
This was an engaging story. It is the first book in a planned series. The epilogue and the teaser from the next book at the end of this one hint at much more trouble in store for Duke and his unit. I will be following along on the adventure.
She gave me a smile, which had the effect of sending chills down my spine. Something about those white, perfect teeth, of which there seemed to be too many, and the total insincerity in her smile made me think of her not as the Wicked Witch of Oz, but as a shark. Beautiful but dangerous.I received this ebook from Sapphire Star Publishing in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.