Caveat: This is book 2 in the Marty Singer series. I have read the first book in the series, A Reason to Live. While you can read this book as a stand alone novel, it would give you more insight into the characters if you read the first book in the series. I couldn’t dig up my review for A Reason to Live, but it was another 3 star book in my opinion.
Review: Someone is killing cops. Four seemingly unrelated murders, except for one thing that ties them all together. They were all cops. And Washington DC bureaucracy being what it is, none of the departments seem to want to work with one another to solve these cases. A concerned police lieutenant approaches retired homicide detective Marty Singer and asks him to help put the pieces together that will help get these cases solved and get a cop killer off the street.
Not a bad formula, right? I know it’s been done before and in some cases it’s been done better. But there’s something just very likeable and approachable about Marty Singer. He’s a grizzled old homicide detective who isn’t going comfortably into his retirement. He still has a few friends, a few tricks up his sleeves and need to find out what happened to these cops. I like that he is a little old fashioned and really follows the “devil is in the details” mentality. I think the best part of the book is Marty, he’s just someone you really come to like. Being the main character, you expect him to be well developed, and the author really did deliver on this.
The story suffered a bit though. The mystery wasn’t really much of a mystery once Marty started his interviews and started piecing together the lives and jobs of the murdered officers. I knew why the cops were killed pretty quickly, I don’t know if this was meant to be more of a surprise, but it was pretty easy to figure out the why. The who was a complete surprise. I didn’t see it until just before the big reveal, I have to say that was really well done. I wish some of the background into the why was a little more detailed and a little more fleshed out. The whole book kind of had a one dimensional feel. In a city as vibrant as Washington DC and especially when dealing with the gang culture, it was missing a lot of visualization that could have easily taken this from a 3 star to a 5 star book.
I’m still unresolved as to whether I’m going to continue this series, but I probably will because I’m stubborn and I really do want to see what happens to Marty next. If you like a decent story about a really good old cop, I think you will find yourself liking these books. If you’re wanting a story with more in-depth character development and more attention to the smaller details, you may want to give this book a pass.