Tag Archives: police procedurals

My Musing ~ Marathon by Brian Freeman

Marathon by Brian Freeman is the eighth book in the “Jonathan Stride” mystery series. Publisher: Quercus, May 2017

On a rainy June morning, tens of thousands of people crowd into Duluth for the city’s biggest annual event: the Duluth Marathon. Exhausted runners push to reach the finish line and spectators line the streets to cheer them on. Then, in a terrifying echo of the Boston bombing, there is an explosion along the race course, leaving many people dead and injured.

Within minutes, Jonathan Stride, Serena Dial, and Maggie Bei are at work with the FBI to find the terrorists behind the tragedy. As social media feeds a flood of rumors and misinformation, one spectator remembers being jostled by a young man with a backpack not far from the bomb site. He spots a Muslim man in a tourist’s photo of the event and is convinced that this was the man who bumped into him in the crowd–but now the man’s backpack is missing.

When he tweets the photo to the public, the young man, Khan Rashid, becomes the most wanted man in the city. And the manhunt is on.

But are the answers behind the Duluth bombing more complex than anyone realizes? And can Stride, Serena, and Maggie find the truth before more innocent people are killed?

Brian has done it again. He’s delivered a fast-paced and riveting drama that I could not put down until the last sentence was read. From the beginning the author set the tone and kept the pace in sync with great narrative that was visually descriptive and engaging dialogue that exploded on the page with the action between the varied cast in this dynamic story. One only have to look at current events to tell that this story needed to be told. The author did a great job in the staging of this story and I loved seeing how this case was solved from the various perspective and the pivotal roles that Jonathan, Serena, Maggie and the other supporting cast played in the telling of this story. The further I read, the more the tension pulsated within my heart as the frenzy action of the character came to a pause when it became clear that what was seen was not seen and that “aha” moment took this this story to a higher pitch and I became engrossed in how this was all going to end. This was an excellent read and the best book in this grippingly thrilling series. I can’t wait to see what new adventures awaits Jonathan and his friends.

A day in the life with Macy Greeley by Karin Salvalaggio

I can see them now. My son Luke and my boyfriend Aiden are a hundred yards ahead, resting in the shade of a thin stand of pine trees. We’re on a high mountain trail in Montana’s Glacier National Park. I’ve been trying to catch up with them for hours. My legs feel so heavy I can barely lift them, my rucksack is warm against my back and a heavy summer sun is making me thirsty. I’m losing patience with the man I love. Luke is only four years old so he can be forgiven but I don’t understand why Aiden won’t wait for me.

The alarm clock I’ve set on my cellphone wakes me from my dream.

The hotel room is pitch dark and full of unfamiliar smells ― carpeting, cleaning fluid and something I can only describe as salami, which is troubling. The sheets are so crisp they pin me down to the bed like an envelope. The hotel is one of many dotted along Route 89 that cater to tourists in the summer and unlucky souls like myself in the winter. It is bitterly cold outside. The curtains are cracked open a fraction. I can just make out the hotel’s vacancy sign.

It feels like I’ve been living in hotels forever, but it has only been a week since I kissed my son and boyfriend goodbye. Wilmington Creek, the town I now call home, seems a lifetime away. I’m heading north into the heart of the Black Feet Indian Reservation where I’m hoping to get information on the whereabouts of a Native American girl who’s gone missing whilst hitchhiking the rural roads that lace the northern part of the state. She is one of many, but I don’t know that yet.

My cellphone rings again. I try to paw it into silence with my hand, but it isn’t the alarm so it doesn’t stop. Someone is calling me. I clear my throat but still croak.

“Special Investigator Macy Greeley, Montana Department of Justice,” I say. “How can I help?”

“You can cut the formalities for a start,” says Ryan.

I am now wide-awake. Ryan is a senior forensics investigator and one of my best friends. We’ve been working cases together for more than a dozen years. Hearing from him is a mixed blessing. It’s usually bad news.

“We’ve found a body – young, female and in all probability your missing person’s case. I’ve just emailed my preliminary findings. We’ve put in a request for dental records. Should know for sure if it’s Tamara Creek by the end of the day.”

I switch on the bedside lamp and reach for my laptop. It’s 6am and this is how I’m starting my day.

“Crap,” I say. “When she sent those text messages to her mother a couple of days ago I was feeling hopeful.”

“It wasn’t her. She’s been dead at least a week.”

“A week? Are you absolutely sure?”

“Yep.”

“So, some sick fuck has been making her friends and family believe she’s been alive all this time?”

“Looks that way. The hotel manager here called it in. No one was supposed to be in the room so he had no idea she’s been lying dead here all week. The guests that checked in late last night had a nasty shock. How soon can you get down to Great Falls?”

“An hour tops. Cause of death?”

I have the file Ryan sent me open on my computer but I can’t focus once I’ve read that the victim had a tattoo of a humming bird on her shoulder. I’ll have to wait for dental confirmation before informing the family, but I already know it’s Tamara, a 14 year old high school student from Missoula whose mother refused to accept that her daughter was a runaway. It was only by chance that a security camera had caught her being forced into a dark colored SUV.

“We’re not sure at this point but I’m guessing strangulation. There’s evidence of rape.”

I close my laptop and slip out from under the covers.

“I’m on my way,” I say.

I put on the coffee maker and throw on my clothes. Ten minutes later I’m on the road. The rest of the day goes by in a blur of interviews, heartache and takeaway food. I will drink 5 cups of coffee and 3 Diet Cokes. A Snickers Bar will see me through an afternoon lull. I will drive more than 400 miles but I never tire of the views and how they unfold. Montana’s snow covered mountains, valleys and rivers shimmer under an endless blue sky.

I end my day back home in Wilmington Creek. The house is quiet when I park my state issue four-by-four in the garage. Our Springer Spaniels come find me in the kitchen where I’m pouring myself a strong drink. The whiskey burns but in a good way. Luke has left a few drawings out on the dining table for me to see. Stick figures of Aiden, Luke and me stand in front of our small house. Against all odds we are now a family.

Aiden wanders in a few minutes later. His face is thick with sleep. His hair is pressed to the side of his head. I’d called him earlier so he already knows how difficult my day has been. It is only when he takes me in his arms and holds me tight that I finally allow myself to cry.


You can read more about Macy in Silent Rain, the fourth book in the “Macy Greeley” mystery series.

Grace Adams has spent three years trying to move on―mentally, physically, emotionally―from the traumatizing events of her past. But it’s not easy when the world is morbidly curious about the crimes that shaped her childhood, when despite her changed name, people still track her down for the sensational details. Now in college in Bolton, Montana, the one person Grace has trusted with the truth about her past has betrayed her. The bestselling novelist Peter Granger wants to use Grace’s story in his next book, regardless of how desperate Grace is to keep the details to herself. And then, on Halloween night, Peter Granger’s house burns to the ground and his and his wife’s bodies are found inside.

Montana state detective Macy Greeley is sent to Bolton to handle the investigation into the fire and deaths. . .which soon appear to be arson and murder. It doesn’t take Macy long to realize that Grace isn’t the only one whom Peter Granger has betrayed, and there are no shortage of others in town who took issue with him and his wife. What at first looked like a straightforward investigation is poised to expose some of Bolton’s darkest secrets, and the fallout may put more than one life in danger.

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About the author
Karin Salvalaggio received an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck at the University of London. Born in West Virginia and raised in an Air Force family, she grew up on a number of military bases around the United States. She now lives in London with her two children.

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ Silent Rain by Karin Salvalaggio

Silent Rain by Karin Salvalaggio is the fourth book in the “Macy Greeley” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books May 9, 2017

silent-rainGrace Adams has spent three years trying to move on―mentally, physically, emotionally―from the traumatizing events of her past. But it’s not easy when the world is morbidly curious about the crimes that shaped her childhood, when despite her changed name, people still track her down for the sensational details. Now in college in Bolton, Montana, the one person Grace has trusted with the truth about her past has betrayed her. The bestselling novelist Peter Granger wants to use Grace’s story in his next book, regardless of how desperate Grace is to keep the details to herself. And then, on Halloween night, Peter Granger’s house burns to the ground and his and his wife’s bodies are found inside.

Montana state detective Macy Greeley is sent to Bolton to handle the investigation into the fire and deaths. . .which soon appear to be arson and murder. It doesn’t take Macy long to realize that Grace isn’t the only one whom Peter Granger has betrayed, and there are no shortages of others in town who took issue with him and his wife. What at first looked like a straightforward investigation is poised to expose some of Bolton’s darkest secrets, and the fallout may put more than one life in danger.

The drama that unfolded captured my attention from the beginning and never let up, not even at the conclusion. There was more to this story and the author did a great job in disseminating all that transpired with this superb cast of characters that featured strong women in every possible form. The narrative was enticing with a tightly woven storyline that put me in the middle of all the action. The dialogue, the staging, and the story’s tempo, kept this tome moving at a pace that I dare not miss a moment for every little detail had me intrigued in the possibilities that the author put forth.

The author did a fantastic job in divvying up the roles that the characters played which were pivotal to how this was all going to end. They were a few strategically-placed twists that gave me pause but when it was all said it done, it added to how well this story was told. Macy is my kind of heroine, and it was nice seeing a stronger Grace who appeared in a previous book. With great plot twists, complex characters and an all-around great read, this was one of the best book in the series and I look forward to more investigations with Macy and her colleagues.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.