Kevin G Chapman
This is the second book by Kevin G Chapman in the Mike Stoneman series, but the first that I have read. I would say that it is a thriller rather than a murder mystery. Without going into the plot too much, when another dead prostitute turns up, this time in the river, Mike Stoneman and his fellow cops are not ready to accept that it’s yet another accident.
The main character is, as you would expect, a tough but fair cop, but is well written and there are enough quirks thrown in to keep the reader from getting bored. Having lost his old partner to a gunshot wound (presumably in the first book), Mike ends up with a new guy and he has to break him in the only way he knows how. In the background, Mike is helping his partner come to terms with an injury that could keep him out of commission for some time, and yet another friend who was left in worse condition, losing his job. Relationships take time to form, and to trust someone new with your life is difficult. Without being absolutely sure of his new partner, Mike must decide if he can get to the truth of just why these women are dying, while helping a woman with the loss of her sister.
Despite the heavy storyline, there are snippets of humor that prevents the story from getting bogged down in emotion. The station is under the control of the exterminators and the vermin’s presence means that donuts are off the cards for this precinct.
Not only the donuts are missing. This novel has a theme of loss running through it. The loss of health, the loss of status, the loss of a sister and the loss of the comfort of a solid partnership. The losses are each competently handles until they are resolved either one way or another.
This book is early in the series so the character backstory has not yet become an info dump (as sometimes is the case), and you do not need to have read the first book; this book will stand alone quite informatively. This is a solid novel, and deserves to have a wide audience, the characters are well drawn, and the storyline is well woven. A 5 out of 5 for this one.