A Picture is Worth … (AK)

Dark City by Catherine Lee is a free book I received through the author’s website. There was no monetary incentive given to write this review but I think it’s good to review a book the author has provided for free.

Detective Sergeant Charlie Cooper really loves his job. He loves his family more but this is not evident to wife Liz. Son Patrick is beginning to imitate the disapproving looks Charlie gets from Liz whenever the phone rings calling Charlie to work. Detective Sergeant Russell Stockton made such a call to Charlie just as the family was leaving for vacation. A woman was missing and the timing was right for a kill by the Adultery Killer (AK). Of course, Charlie went to work. Partners Charlie and Stocky had been chasing him (or her) for ten years as AK pursued a course of killing on a predictable schedule. The two detectives were the lead team on the case but their assignment was not appreciated by either of their wives. The there was the pesky Internal Affairs (IA) investigation of Stocky over corruption charges stemming from the disappearance of 10 000 cash in a previous case. Whether the team could survive these distractions was in doubt.

But maybe AK didn’t do it. Photos of an adulterous wife caught in the act along with photos of her corpse sent to the husband were the criminal signature of AK. No such photos had turned up. Back to the usual suspects as the murdered woman’s husband occupied the position of suspect number one. Husband Royce had been sleeping on the living room sofa when wife Rebecca went missing. But Royce was sure AK didn’t kill her, Rebecca was always faithful. That was not particularly helpful to Royce, who continued to be a prime suspect. Or maybe it was son Josh. Or daughter Ashley. Or maybe it was Jack, husband of Rebecca’s best friend, Carmel. Despite Carmel and Rebecca being best friends, it seemed Carmel had no problem accepting that her husband was sleeping with Rebecca. Everyone involved in the investigation easily accepted the idea that the affair occurred. Even without pictures, Rebecca was definitely dead; the body had been found.

This is a prequel novella written to generate interest in the follow-on series. It got my interest and I will at least read the next novel in the series. The surprises in this fast-paced short novel managed to fill the functions of offering the conclusion of a stand alone novel while still enticing readers to buy the next one. Lee wrote an interesting novella devoid of gratuitous sex and violence yet still offered surprises. This is a fast, well-paced read of 135 pages. It is great for a weekend read or in traffic jams.

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