Gore Galore
by Aaron T Knight
Roger Loff

"This case is already so bland on the surface I'm bored, he thought. However, chances were it wouldn't stay that way."

Four people are dead in Foxtrot, Virginia, and all signs indicate they simultaneously shot each other. Can you arrest dead people for murder? So begins the puzzling case of what the media terms the Forest Avenue Killings. A less-than-dedicated police team accepts the medical examiner's report of simultaneous deaths. At the governor's request, the State Police and the Virginia Bureau of Investigation get involved, and Foxtrot's Sergeant Nick Noulte (no relation to Nick Nolte) gets assigned the case. The FBI, the CIA, and the Secret Service all chase the Mob, counterfeiters, and a mysterious Shadow Government in the pursuit of assassins. Nick is almost killed—twice—and whisked to a safe house by the Secret Service.

An intrepid reporter, Pam, won't let go of the story and is assaulted. Beautiful twin sisters, who hero-worship Nick after he saves them, stalk him in a way he loves to hate. A man resembling the Pillsbury "doughboy" becomes an early suspect. In the fashion of The Pink Panther, Nick knocks "Pooky" the dog unconscious, interviews a spiritualist who is a member of the "born again to be born again" group, and wakes up sandwiched between the twins and sandbagged as to why.

Knight shows his skill at humor via a convoluted plot that spoofs the modern mystery thriller. The author has created a parody of every convoluted, paranoid, sinister, and misguided governmental plotline ever made. The involvement of almost every major law enforcement branch accelerates the pace of this farce to high comedy. With true hero panache, Nick only tries harder when Foxtrot's mayor and local district attorney oddly align against him, their own public servant, to keep the crimes unsolved. His character is tremendously likable. The conclusion is just what it should be and is true to Nick's character.

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