A Peter Shaw Mystery by Jim Kelly
Review: The deaths of a brother and sister, twins, eighteen years apart may be related in Death Watch, the second investigation of Detective Inspector Peter Shaw and his partner Detective Sergeant George Valentine by Jim Kelly.
Actually Norma Jean's death is more accurately considered presumed, as she disappeared from her home when she was 15 and was never seen again. Her brother Bryan could no longer "feel her presence in his body" and knew she was dead. Now, eighteen years to the day after Norma Jean vanished, Bryan's burned body is found in the hospital incinerator where he worked. DI Shaw and DS Valentine are assigned to investigate. There's no obvious link between Bryan's murder and Norma Jean's disappearance. In fact, Shaw is initially unaware of the connection and pursues his most promising lead: a kidney is found under Bryan's charred body, which was either in his possession when he died or was placed there to incriminate him. The origin of the kidney cannot be determined but lead the two detectives into the shady world of organ trafficking, where the homeless are paid to "donate" their organs for placement with wealthy patients. To refuse to contribute can be a certain death sentence. But the cold case involving Norma Jean won't go away: Shaw learns that his late father, DCI Jack Shaw, was the lead officer on the investigation and his partner at the time was none other than his current partner, DS Valentine.
Death Watch is an intricately plotted police procedural full of twists and turns. Somewhat surprisingly, given how much is going on at any point in time, the storyline is fairly easy to follow and moves along briskly. The unexpected interpersonal revelations between the various characters, most especially those of Shaw and his father, add depth and intrigue to the story. Though the story here is not dependent on the previous book in the series, readers may want to start there to get a more complete picture of this remarkable pair of detectives.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Death Watch for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Death Wore White
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), June 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312570811; ISBN-10: 0312570813
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), June 2011
ISBN-13: 9780312573522; ISBN-10: 0312573529
Location(s) referenced in Death Watch: Norfolk, England
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Death Watch by Jim Kelly — A Peter Shaw Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 2010
List Price: $25.99