Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Death Wore White by Jim Kelly

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Death Wore White by Jim Kelly. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Death Wore White by Jim Kelly

by
Non-series

St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-312-57081-3 (0312570813)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-57081-1 (9780312570811)
Publication Date: June 2009
List Price: $24.95

Review: Jim Kelly's first rate mystery, Death Wore White, introduces Detective Inspector Peter Shaw investigating a most perplexing, and seeingly impossible crime.

Shaw is the youngest DI on the police force. His partner is also his deceased father's ex-partner, Detective Sergeant George Valentine, who had been demoted years earlier for misconduct. It is unclear to this day whether Shaw's father was involved. During a blizzard, Shaw and Valentine are sent to investigate a dead body found drifting on a rubber raft. A half-mile away, six cars are stranded on a narrow road, help up by a fallen tree. A man in the first vehicle, a truck, is also dead, apparently murdered. But there are no footprints leading to or from the truck. And witnesses in the other vehicles claim he was alive earlier. Is it possible the two deaths are connected? Soon after Shaw and Valentine start asking questions, more potential witnesses (or are they suspects) begin to die.

If the impossible crime investigation of Death Wore White wasn't sufficient to capture the reader's imagination, the narrative shifts gears when Shaw quizzes Valentine about the case 12 years earlier that caused so much trouble for the Detective Sergeant and Shaw's father. A young boy had been killed. Proof was found to indict the killer but somehow it appeared as if Valentine, or Shaw's father, had planted the evidence though everyone involved at the time denied it. Shaw wants to know the truth. He convinces his superiors to reopen the case. But somehow, some way, this cold case is related to their current murder investigation. The question is, how?

Death Wore White is a brilliantly constructed mystery, decidedly atmospheric with a setting of icy waters, snow-covered roads, dilapidated waterfront buildings, and an approaching blizzard. The novel is a series of cliffhangers, but of the sort that intensifies the reader's emotions, not frustrates it. This is a suspenseful thriller at its best, one not to be missed.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death Wore White and to St. Martin's Minotaur for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Buy from Amazon.com

If you are interested in purchasing Death Wore White from Amazon.com, please click the button to the right.

Synopsis (from the publisher): At 5.15 p.m. Harvey Ellis was trapped – stranded in a line of eight cars by a blizzard on a Norfolk coast road. At 8.15 p.m. Harvey Ellis was dead – viciously stabbed at the wheel of his truck. And his killer has achieved the impossible: striking without being seen, and without leaving a single footprint in the snow ...

For DI Peter Shaw and DS George Valentine it’s only the start of an infuriating investigation. The crime scene is melting, the murderer has vanished, the witnesses are dropping like flies. And the body count is on the rise ...

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