‘The Heavens May Fall’ – A Minneapolis mystery-thriller – #bookreview

The Heavens May Fall

Allen Eskens

Seventh Street Books, paperback, Kindle

In his third novel, The Heavens May Fall, Allen Eskens has created an engrossing tale built around two Minneapolis police investigations and a high-profile murder trial.

In this book, fans of Eskens’s writing will be pleased to see that he has brought along three characters from his previous works: Minneapolis police detective Max Rupert, retired law professor Boady Sanden, and Ben Pruitt, a highly successful criminal defense attorney who is now on trial, charged with murdering his wife.

All three have had dealings in the past–some better than others. This adds more twists and turns to Eskens’s well-written new mystery-thriller. Meanwhile, Eskens’s own courtroom experience brings depth and believability to his fiction. (He is a veteran criminal defense attorney.)

Still, there is one moment in an intense trial scene when I found myself asking, “Wait a minute, how could a crack defense attorney being tried for murder not recall hearing a key bit of testimony in his own trial?”

That awkward moment aside, this novel flows well. The two police investigations begin to intertwine while the courtroom drama plays out. And, the ending unfolds with some startling surprises.

Allen Eskens’s previous books are The Life We Bury and The Guise of Another.

Si Dunn

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Dante’s Dilemma – A solid mystery featuring a blind psychiatrist as investigator – #bookreview

 

Dante’s Dilemma

A Mark Angelotti Novel

Lynne Raimondo

Seventh Street Books – paperback, Kindle

Lynne Raimondo puts her legal background and well-honed writing skills solidly to work in Dante’s Dilemma, her third Mark Angelotti novel.

Part of the enjoyment of reading this well-crafted mystery is watching the author stretch to keep Dr. Angelotti, a blind psychiatrist, within the confines of his physical limitations, while he discerns clues by using his mind, his hearing and other senses and paying attention to what others say.

As this story unfolds, Angelotti, an expert in treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has had an affair that has wrecked his marriage and reduced his access to his young son. And, testifying as an expert witness for the prosecution in a Chicago murder case associated with domestic violence, he all but helps convict someone who may — or may not — be the killer.

Soon, a link to another homicide emerges, and it has ties to the case where he has testified. And Angelotti now must risk the real possibility of freezing to death in a bad Chicago winter while he tries to find answers to the key question: Is the real murderer already in custody or still out there and about to get away?

Dante’s Dilemma is entertaining mystery fiction, with an intriguingly flawed main character and plenty of twists. And the book illuminates a troubling real-life issue, as well. Domestic violence, author Lynne Raimondo notes in her acknowledgments, “affects an estimated 1.3 million women and their families in the United States annually.”

Si Dunn

 

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The Bomb Maker’s Son – Book 3 in the Parker Stern series is a deep, engrossing legal thriller

 

 

The Bomb Maker’s Son

A Parker Stern Novel

Robert Rotstein

Seventh Street Bookspaperback, Kindle

 

Los Angeles attorney Parker Stern has lingering stage fright and a not-so-high opinion of himself. “As a child,” he admits, “I was an actor. As an adult, I chose a profession that requires me to take on a role depending on which side is the first to shell out a retainer.”

While he drives a “sagging old Lexus,” he has been successful in both careers, has solid savings, and doesn’t actually need to work. Yet he still believes in searching for truth, helping people find it and presenting it skillfully in court.

In The Bomb Maker’s Son, however, those values are shaken to their deepest core when his estranged mother suddenly shows up and wants her “Parky” to represent an accused bomber who happens to be one of America’s most hated fugitives from justice. The long-time fugitive stands accused of a fatal bombing directed at protesting the Vietnam War. Now, after successfully hiding in plain sight for decades, he  wants to give himself up and face trial.

Parker seldom has done murder trials. Indeed, he hates them. He repeatedly says no to his mother–until she reveals long-kept secrets that set his life spinning in several different directions.

This is the third novel in Robert Rotstein’s burgeoning Parker Stern series. The Bomb Maker’s Son is an excellent tale that can introduce readers to an intriguing and engrossing series already in progress. The two other books are Corrupt Practices and Reckless Disregard.

 — Si Dunn