A detective with the Des Moines, Iowa Police Department, Ed Shaw has a full plate. On the personal side, his long-time partner is on medical leave, his ex-wife is moving on, and he got drunk the night before being called to a brutal crime scene. Needless to say, a lot of eyebrows were being raised as he had to rush away before he contaminated said crime scene.
Somebody is loose on the streets that really likes using a knife. First an old man walking his dog is brutally mutilated (and the dog stabbed). The only clue the police have is carved into the man's back. It's a crossword puzzle clue. And this is not the only body found.
And what do these deaths have to do with a killing that took place many years previously?
Working with the best available people he know, Shaw is depending on the medical examiner and the County Attorney. He's not even above manipulating a journalist to get what he wants/needs to solve this case.
But there's a lot going on behind the scenes. A psychologist has a client that 'thinks' he may be the killer, even though he doesn't actually remember doing the killing. The psychologist has an internal battle trying to decide if he needs to go to the police. The County Attorney is having an affair .. and his girlfriend has just announced that she's pregnant. The Attorney's wife and father-in-law ( a well-known judge ) are not going to be pleased.
I liked that the book gave a back story to all these characters. Trying to decide who did what to whom was fun ... and not easy. I rather like the challenge of not automatically knowing. The ending was sort of a surprise. The opening chapter was an eye-opener ... grabbed my attention in a heart beat. Slowed down a little in order to introduce the characters fully, and from there it was a fast-paced thriller.
Many thanks to the author who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)