Steve Mosby, a master of thrilling crime, brings intriguing characters and interwoven plots in The Murder Code, published by Pegasus Books, copyright 2013.
Detective Hicks and his partner Laura Fellows are called to a murder scene and the first thing they notice is the screaming coming from the second-floor balcony. Carla Gibson had been searching for her daughter Vicki who she had expected home earlier in the day. Vicki’s face and skull had been beaten into a point where the face was not recognizable but her mother knew the clothes, the shoes, the handbag, and her hair. She could see her daughter had been brutally murdered and was hysterical with grief. Even after a large dose of sedatives, Carla was fairly incapable of giving any information to the police detectives beyond Vicki’s age, where she worked, and her last boyfriend’s name.
We are next treated to a slice of life in the home of detective Hicks and his wife Rachel. His job is something he does not feel he should bring home with him, homicide investigations are not exactly talk for dinner time or preparing for bed. Rachel had fallen into a pattern, the same thing every night, with a confirming statement, “It is what it is”. Rachel is pregnant and Andrew is doing all that he can think of to comfort her and prepare for the arrival of their baby next month.
Hicks and Fellows are called to another murder scene. They are directed to a man whose face and skull have been beaten in very much the same fashion as Vicki’s had: beyond recognition. The detectives endeavor to find a connection that will connect these two murders. Their similarity suggests a connection but the scenes supply no hard facts that would tie these crimes together. At this time Hicks starts receiving cryptic notes. At first, they weren’t directed at Hicks but they progressed to personal challenges saying this murderer will never be caught and that he does not know what he will do next but when it begins there will be no way to stop him.
This novel took me in many directions and it was not until the ending that I was able to piece it all together. Mosby has given us a taste of a brilliant story of homicide, and the people who feel they have reason to commit them. Mosby is a master of bringing new agendas or plot twists and kept me in perplexed suspense until the finale.
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