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A Season of Revenge
P J.Dunn

January 8, 2014/ ISBN 978-14947 44281

Reviewed by Dennis Collins


It’s St. Louis in the 1890s and Sergeant Mac O’Hara has retired from the police department, married his sweetheart and settled into a new home on the banks of the Mississippi River. His future looks happy and uncomplicated. And then an old partner knocks on his door.

It seems that the wife of a local doctor had gone missing and has now turned up dead, a murder victim. Mac’s old partner, Wallace, has come by to ask for help solving the case. The situation is puzzling because of the way the murder victim is dressed and when the investigation turns up more bodies dressed similarly, the whole thing takes on a ritualistic appearance.

The trail leads Mac through the remnants of the old underground railroad with all of its secret passageways and hidden tunnels and comes to a dead end at a Satanic-like temple ruled by a mysterious VooDoo priestess.

The cops interview some reluctant railroad hobos who were in a place where they may have witnessed the murder but then they disappear as well only to turn up dead. Meanwhile O’Hara’s wife is kidnapped by the cult.

In spite of all the strange suspects, the cops can't ignore the fact that the recently widowed doctor doesn’t seem to show the proper amount of grief and looks to be just a little too friendly with his housekeeper. The plot keeps getting deeper as new suspects enter the scene and others appear to be resurrected from the dead.

This is P. J. Dunn’s debut novel and it has all of the pitfalls and sins of an entry level book. The character development could be stronger and the plot could be easier to follow. But in spite of its faults, the premise is very intriguing and the overall story is deceptively entertaining.

It’s not Estleman, but it’s a fun book.

Reviewer & Columnist Dennis Collins is the author of Turn Left at September, The Unreal McCoy, The First Domino, and Nightmare
Reviewed 2014