BOOK REVIEW: THE RIBBON MURDERS
Twenty-three year old reporter Jancy Dewhurst plans to work one more year at the Clarion in Bishop, Oklahoma before joining her mentor as an overseas correspondent. Meanwhile she learns of a homicide in which the corpse was mutilated and a rubber band cut off circulation to the victim’s penis. Sheriff Dudley Roundtree allows her to come to the crime scene where Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation Agent Jim Wills runs the inquiry. The victim is Pakistani student Charles Benuda.
Not long afterward a second body is found with the same gift wrapping, but the campus police moved the corpse before the investigators arrived. The deceased is Francis Speir, who apparently was a friend of Charles. Thoughts of hate crimes against homosexuals end when the third death is womanizing state Senator Richard Crook. Though he prefers Jancy to stay out of the case because she distracts him, Jim needs her insider knowledge especially when a mutual friend is killed next by a serial killer.
Jancy’s youthful energy compares nicely against the professionals Dudley and Jim as the trio works on stopping a serial killer whose ribbon killing will haunt the audience (especially males) long after finishing the thriller. The sleuthing is first rate as Jim leads the inquiries with the help of the sheriff and the unwanted assistance of Jancy. The attraction between the two Js augments a fine police procedural though the motive when finally revealed seems off kilter.
REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER
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