Death Wore White
A Peter Shaw Mystery by Jim Kelly
Review: Jim Kelly's first rate mystery, Death Wore White, introduces Detective Inspector Peter Shaw investigating a most perplexing, and seeingly impossible crime.
Shaw is the youngest DI on the police force. His partner is also his deceased father's ex-partner, Detective Sergeant George Valentine, who had been demoted years earlier for misconduct. It is unclear to this day whether Shaw's father was involved. During a blizzard, Shaw and Valentine are sent to investigate a dead body found drifting on a rubber raft. A half-mile away, six cars are stranded on a narrow road, help up by a fallen tree. A man in the first vehicle, a truck, is also dead, apparently murdered. But there are no footprints leading to or from the truck. And witnesses in the other vehicles claim he was alive earlier. Is it possible the two deaths are connected? Soon after Shaw and Valentine start asking questions, more potential witnesses (or are they suspects) begin to die.
If the impossible crime investigation of Death Wore White wasn't sufficient to capture the reader's imagination, the narrative shifts gears when Shaw quizzes Valentine about the case 12 years earlier that caused so much trouble for the Detective Sergeant and Shaw's father. A young boy had been killed. Proof was found to indict the killer but somehow it appeared as if Valentine, or Shaw's father, had planted the evidence though everyone involved at the time denied it. Shaw wants to know the truth. He convinces his superiors to reopen the case. But somehow, some way, this cold case is related to their current murder investigation. The question is, how?
Death Wore White is a brilliantly constructed mystery, decidedly atmospheric with a setting of icy waters, snow-covered roads, dilapidated waterfront buildings, and an approaching blizzard. The novel is a series of cliffhangers, but of the sort that intensifies the reader's emotions, not frustrates it. This is a suspenseful thriller at its best, one not to be missed.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death Wore White.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Death Wore White for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), May 2010
ISBN-13: 9780312644901; ISBN-10: 0312644906
Location(s) referenced in Death Wore White: Norfolk, England
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Death Wore White by Jim Kelly — A Peter Shaw Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: June 2009
List Price: $24.95