MISTERIOSO by Arne Dahl is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization. On the surface, it is a mystery but so much of the novel lies below the surface, getting into the charactersâ€™ minds and thoughts as they live their lives and work at trying to catch a serial killer.
The title of the book comes from a piece of music composed by Thelonius Monk, a famous American jazz pianist and composer, now deceased. There is a serial killer on the loose in Sweden who is killing very rich and powerful men. The killer waits for his prey in the victimâ€™s living room listening to Monkâ€™s Misterioso on the stereo and when the victim arrives he is shot in the head two times. The killer views the music as â€śa pantomime, a peculiar dance of death.â€ť The Swedish police put together what they call an A-Team to find this killer.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Maura Isles angers the members of the Boston Police Department when she testifies against Officer Wayne Graff. Dr. Isles maintains that Graff’s savage beating of alleged cop killer Fabian Dixon led to the suspect’s death. Although Maura knows that she will be ostracized because of her testimony, she tells the truth as she sees it: “I only concern myself with the facts…wherever they may lead,” she says. Her attitude irritates her good friend, Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli, who can understand why Graff “lost it.”
After a wait of 5 years and 2 non-series books, including last yearâ€™s Edgar award winning THE LOCK ARTIST, Steve Hamilton has brought back Alex McKnight in MISERY BAY, the eighth book in this excellent series. While relaxing at the Glasgow Inn in Paradise, Michigan with the owner Jackie Connery and his friend Vinnie â€śRed Skyâ€ť LeBlanc, Alexâ€™s evening is interrupted by a man he didnâ€™t expect to ever see there, Chief Roy Maven, who surprisingly asks for Alexâ€™s help. Chief Maven, the head of the nearby Sault Ste. Marie police force, wants Alex to help his old state trooper partner, Charles â€śRazâ€ť Razniewski, determine why his son Charlie would hang himself in a remote part of Misery Bay, Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula part of Michigan.
In Tess Gerritsen’s Ice Cold, forty-two year old medical examiner Maura Isles is heartbroken. She is in a relationship with Daniel Brophy, a Catholic priest. However, their year-long affair has not brought either of them much happiness. Daniel is reluctant to give up his calling, and Maura is frustrated with his inability to make up his mind. After spending the night together, they part. Maura flies from Boston to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to attend a medical conference. There, she meets a former classmate, pathologist Doug Comley, who is divorced and has a thirteen year-old-daughter, Grace. He asks Maura to accompany him and his friends on a trip to a cross-country ski lodge. She agrees, but soon regrets her decision.
Raffi Yessayanâ€™s second book, 2 IN THE HATt, is a somewhat disappointing, but still enjoyable sequel to his first book 8 IN THE BOX. This book takes place 3 years after 8 IN THE BOX and includes many of the same characters with continuing emphasis on Assistant District Attorney Connie Darget and police detectives Angel Alves and Wayne Mooney.
New author Raffi Yessayanâ€™s first book 8 IN THE BOX is a solid legal thriller based in Boston, Massachusetts that is also a well done and enjoyable police procedural. With a mix of perspectives, Yessayan shows the thoughts of the homicide police detectives and the district attorneys as well as a serial killer that keeps the police busy looking for clues.