St. Martin's, Sep 2002, 23.95, 276 pp.
Just back from his vacation, Crowley DCI Frank Jacobsen uses every excuse to avoid the paperwork that has piled up while he was away. So though he loathes that the Crowley Crawler has been paroled and returning to the town where he raped numerous women, Frank uses Robert Johnson as a legitimate pretext to escape his office work. Led by Frank, the police place Robert under surveillance not only to keep their women safe, but also to insure the victims or their families do not enact vengeance.
A second event occurs when the postal carrier discovers the corpse of Jenny Mortimer, who was leaving her husband Gus for her lover. The police think Gus killed his spouse, but soon revise that theory when they find him dead too. When Johnson eludes his tail, most townsfolk including the police conclude he killed the Mortimers, but Frank thinks otherwise. He believes the two cases are separate with an unknown killer to methodically uncover and to decide which victim or family member abducted Johnson.
The second DCI Jacobsen police procedural, MAKING A KILLING, is an intriguing Scottish investigative tale that provides readers with a discerning look into the department coping with two high publicity cases that may interconnect. The story line is gritty due to the homicides and the reputation of the Crawler, but it is Frank who turns the novel into a powerhouse as he carries out the plot. The secondary cast rounds out the edges, but the strong lead protagonist endears the reader from the moment he sneaks out the back door for a pint.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner