BOOK REVIEW

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BLOODY MARY - J. A. KONRATH

Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Phil Blasky informs Chicago Violent Crimes Unit Detective Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels that the morgue has a slight problem, a pair of extra arms handcuffed together. Jack and her partner Herb Benedict, thinking that the 100 plus degrees outside is cooler than their office, stop by the morgue where Jack's handcuffs link the arms.

Soon other body parts surface at the morgue as if an insider is toying with the medical examiner and the cops. After several people are killed, the two cops finally catch the apparent culprit aspirin popping Barry Fuller; Jack and Herb feel they have stapled the case shut until the accused takes a lie detector test. While the serial killer case looks suddenly lost Jack's home front turns weirder then ever when her mom, assisted by her former son-in-law Alan, moves in with her while her current boyfriend Latham Conger wonders what is going on; for Barry a new list of Jack's circle now exists.

BLOODY MARY is a zany roller coaster police procedural that the alternates perspectives between the cop and the killer. The story line starts off grippingly eerie, picks up weirdness and speed, but slows down towards the middle as readers know too much, only to suddenly detour yet accelerate into hyperspeed once Fuller is caught but apparently will walk due to lack of evidence. Jack's personal life adds craziness that is so out of control that a serial killer aimed in some perverse way at her seems like a lark. Fans will need to toast Jack with a WHISKEY SOUR for handling her personal life with chocolate and a murder investigation as her escapes.

REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, HARRIET KLAUSNER

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