Thursday, October 18, 2007

Love in All the Wrong Places

Love in All the Wrong Places on Amazon
Frank Devlin

This is the second female serial killer book a friend sent me. See HeartSick for the first. Strictly speaking, you might characterize her (the killer not my friend) as more of a facilitator but more on that later.

This is a police procedural of the type where the reader knows who's doing it and the fun is seeing how the police put the clues together. This may be a trickier technique for the author since the reader knows where the story is heading and the author has to make sure that there is a logical progression to the investigation. Devlin makes this work.

San Francisco Inspector Rose Burke and her partner Joshua Falkner investigate a death that has the appearance of a date rape where the victim killed her attacker in self defense. With a more politically sensitive murder in the press, they are pressured to set the case aside to provide assistance to the team investigating the murder of a Japanese tourist.

Other bodies appear and gradually Rose and Joshua begin to link the cases. Complicating the case is the fact that they don't know if the killer is a male of female. Rose and Joshua think they are looking for a female. The FBI thinks the cases are related to a male killer they have been tracking.

There are three alternating tracks working in this story. first there is the investigations. Second there is the story of Rose's disintegrating marriage and the mutual attraction between Rose and Joshua complicated by the shadow of her former partner who killed himself after a bad shooting. The implication being that he fired too quickly to protect Rose. Lastly there is the story of Helen, looking for true love but always disappointed resulting in someones death.

My only complaint about this book is mostly a nit pick. Devlin, like a lot of crime authors, interchanges the terms clip and magazine. They are not the same. See Some people might think this is a "so what issue" but maybe it is the librarian in me that says why not be accurate when it doesn't take much effort to do the research. Also, a 9mm turns into a .45 Vietnam era automatic in the space of a few pages.