“Only in America. I love this country. If you want fame, and you want it fast-well, then you’ve got to kill somebody. That’s the American way.” Ian Zachary (p135)
This is apparently the seventh Kathy Mallory book, Kathy is a New York Police detective, who grew up on the streets and is adept at picking locks (a handy skill in a crime novel). She takes more of a supporting role in this novel, as her sometime partner and mentor, Riker takes centre stage. Riker and Mallory prefer people using their surnames, Mallory to be taken seriously in the rather misogynistic police force and Riker because he has no first name just the cryptic initial P.
Riker is a mess after being shot four times, he freezes when he hears gunshots. Riker has been retired from the police force against his will and has failed to cash his invalidity checks. His apartment is a nightmare for the cleaning lady Mrs Ortega.
Jurors on a controversial trial are being picked off one by one by a serial killer, known as the Reaper. The head of the jury was a hunchbacked (thoracic kyphosis) psychiatrist Johanna Apollo. She also has a strange penchant for cleaning up crime scenes and a psychotic cat called Muggs.
A shock-jock called Ian Zachary of British origin, calls on his listeners to give him details about the Reaper and about the surviving jurors, who are supposedly protected by the Feds. Mallory, Riker, Jo, the NYPD, the Feds from Chicago and the Feds from NYC are all involved in hunting the Reaper, but they are often in conflict with each other.
The characters are all interestingly drawn but seem a little larger than life and some suspension of belief is necessary along the way.
I rate this novel at 3.5, not quite a 4 but too good for 3 out of 5.
Emma, the book is focusing on a serial killer, so the body count is high, but most have been killed before the story begins. In the book the body count is about three (human).