"Take death. Inevitable. Everybody dies. I don’t worry about death. It’s getting killed that concerns me."

The second book of the Raymond “Mack” Mackey mystery series does not disappoint. Mack, a former homicide detective, is back at work with the Internal Affairs Division of the Chandler Police Department near Chicago. He is still mourning the loss of his wife and, when he is not at work, still leads a mostly solitary life. He has his cat Philippa and Old Forrester bourbon for company. His unique psychological condition is also still with him. It allows him to observe himself from a distance as if he is a separate person. His condition does not take away from his investigative skills. Nor does it lessen his ability to get into hot water. Although he is on the search for bad cops as an IAD investigator, Mack decides to help a beautiful woman search for a Russian nesting doll, which lands him in the middle of two murder investigations.

The author deftly illustrates Mack’s psychological disorder by alternating between the first and third person. It’s an interesting change from telling the story from only one perspective. As in the first book in the series, witty dialogue, a lyrical narrative, multi-faceted characters, and plenty of twists and turns in this one promise to keep the reader turning the pages. Rich, unique personalities have been crafted for every character in the story, including the weather and the city, as it is set during a harsh winter in Chicago. It makes this book hard to put down. Mack could have stepped right out of a classic crime novel from the ’30s or ’40s. Fans of that genre might well add this new series to their favorites list.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home