Monday, August 29, 2011

Grave Situation by Alex MacLean

Lieutenant Allan Stanton with the Halifax Regional Police Major Crimes Unit is upset when he can't find the killer from a murder that happened seven months ago, but realizes he must move on and hopefully new evidence comes to light to help close it later.

Unfortunately, he is soon kept busy with new cases and the old case slips to the back of his mind. A prostitute called Trixy is reported missing from her sister and so far there are no leads. Allan talks to the sister, Cynthia, but he doesn't get any new leads from her. However, he does wish he could help Cynthia, who is fighting her own demons with drugs.

Then a security officer is found stabbed to death in a parking lot, but the scene looks off, especially with the blood drops many yards away. Perhaps there are two crimes? When an old park hermit is found murdered without his hands, and then the body of Trixy washes up, Stanton begins to connect the dots and realizes that there is a serial killer on the loose. When Cynthia dies, what she leaves leads them to believe someone else is out to kill as many as possible. There are already four possible victims and maybe more, shooting up with heroin laced with morphine.

Will the Lieutenant figure out who is responsible for all of these crimes before the death toll rises? It's already cost him his marriage, what else can he lose?

Author Alex MacLean leads the reader on a merry chase, trying to connect the crimes and who the killers are. The name of one killer is given, and the reader watches his thought processes and how he implements his crimes, but are not given the reason why until the compelling and dark conclusion. I really enjoyed Grave Situation, Lt. Allan is a highly intelligent individual who balances his sympathies with his moral obligations with ease. The pages turned quickly as the story unfolded and the only gripe I have is the details on an autoposy, too much for me, but I realize it lent credence to the storyline. Mystery and thriller readers will find much to like in Grave Situation! I really look forward to seeing what MacLean has in store for us next!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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