The Brimstone Murders
A Jimmy O'Brien Mystery by Jeff Sherratt
Review: Former Los Angeles police officer and now fledgling lawyer Jimmy O'Brien accepts the seemingly impossible defense of a young student who killed his professor in The Brimstone Murders, the third mystery in this series by Jeff Sherratt.
"Why?" Jimmy asks when he first meets his client, Robbie. "Because God told me to," is the reply. Jimmy decides his only defense is mental illness and needs time to possibly set it up before Robbie is convicted of murder one. But before Jimmy can finish his plea with the judge, Robbie grabs a gun from a guard and escapes. Jimmy starts on a tempestuous journey to find Robbie and bring him back to court. During his search he meets Robbie's alcoholic and nasty mother, the minister who was supposed to help Robbie, a number of corrupt officials, and the money men giving orders for illegal operations in the city. Jimmy faces death at more than one turn before he can begin to understand what is going on in the city, the Mojave Desert and an abandoned borax mine.
Complicating his investigation is the subsequent murder of Robbie's mother with a gun of the same caliber that he stole from the courtroom. And then there's the strange young woman he meets at a restaurant, a girl that was said to have been killed and buried ten years ago along with her parents. The FBI supposedly verified her identity through fingerprints. Jimmy is determined not stop her search until he finds Robbie, dead or alive, and to find the answer to the question of the young girl, alive, but who was supposed to be dead, and who killed Robbie's mother but is framing him.
There is much to The Brimstone Murders that is appealing for the mystery reader. The situations in which Jimmy finds himself are, collectively, quite unique but credible in the context of his investigation. Then there are the references to musicians, television shows, and movies of the 1970s that add an unexpected, and certainly entertaining, aspect to the story. Readers will no doubt look forward to Jimmy's next case in this series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Brimstone Murders.
Acknowledgment: Breakthrough Promotions provided a copy of The Brimstone Murders for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Brimstone Murders: Southern California
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The Brimstone Murders by Jeff Sherratt — A Jimmy O'Brien Mystery
Publisher: Echelon Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: February 2008
List Price: $12.99