The Chemist, an e-book of an award-winning novel first published in 2010. Fearless Publishing, copyright and written by Jason Mancheski.
The story opens with the kidnapping of a young woman in an unusual manner and with her disappearance even her automobile cannot be found. The perpetrators are described to an extent with specific attention to the shadowy ‘Chemist’. The reader then is introduced to Cale Van Waring the detective lieutenant heading the special crimes unit of the Green Bay, Wisconsin PD. He becomes lead investigator on the missing woman case that begins to worsen when more blond young women completely disappear along with their automobiles. He is aided in his search particularly by longtime partner James “Slink” Dooley and Sargent Anton Staszak and their first ‘break’ is the gruesome discovery of the first woman’s decapitated body appearing in the waters of Lake Michigan. Cale has other, personal, problems with which he is struggling. He and Maggie Jeffers, a beautiful young lawyer with the Public Defender’s Office, have been living happily together now for fourteen months but since the relationship appears to be going nowhere, she has given him until a late July date to make up his mind, or she will leave. From here, the manner in which the story proceeds to unfold, both with respect to the missing persons’ investigation and the Cale/Maggie relationship, is quite convoluted. It also, is this reviewer’s opinion, would be a disservice to the prospective reader to divulge more aspects of the process. Suffice it to say that the story involves Chloe, Maggie’s 2-year-olded clairvoyant sister, along with several gang members, and other sinister characters with a mounting amount of evidence pointing toward the despicable but unfortunately lucrative human trafficking industry.
Discussion: The author has provided a quite involved plot with variously described characters set in a suspenseful multi-genre tale. The protagonist perhaps is a little too strong in his tenacity of purpose when mixed with his ambivalence on a number of counts and his strong adherence to his own particular mindset with respect to others. However, it is a tale that most readers should enjoy and the brief synopsis at the end of this volume presenting the following book’s opening lines should enhance one’s interest in proceeding to the next in the series.
4* Suspenseful multi-genre tale readers should enjoy.
The Ghost Shows the Way, A ghost Haven Mystery assumed published, copyright and written by Kristine Frost.
The story opens as highly successfully artist Tabitha Black is providing mental as well as still a degree of physical aid to her cousin and best friend Courtney Spencer. Courtney has just recently returned home from an extended hospital stay resulting from a nearly fatal automobile accident. Her already thoroughly shaken mental state is further disturbed by the fact that she recently also had been left a large estate by her uncle who was a most disagreeable person whom she hardly knew but who had hated her parents. The distress is exacerbated by arrival of a letter from the lawyer handling the will. It states that she must go to the estate, house all of the recipients mentioned therein and be ready for its reading by a specific date. It also stipulates that if she does not accept her gift and comply, all listed recipients will lose their inheritance. She feels forced to go so Tabitha accompanies her. The old home is a huge building looking every bit what would be expected of such a manor house constructed many years ago. Its setting is in a miserable and desolate area frequently enveloped in fog and with miserable changes in weather. A housekeeper/chef and a couple of servants who have been left to take care of the house are able to arrange matters adequately to deal with the influx of relatives. The plot progresses as the reader is made aware of the totally miserable, greedy and vengeful character of the deceased and the similarly abominably miserable characters of each and all of the relatives. Additionally a weather front moves through bringing thunderstorms, heavy drifting snow and other conditions that isolate the house and its occupants. The cars in which the various relatives arrived even mysteriously have been damaged so no one could leave anyway. Tempers flare among the irascible mean-spirited relatives and one of them is found murdered. Fortunately, they are able to get a useable line to the police, but here other problems pop up. Two constables disappear and more unpleasantnesses occur with more skullduggery encountered until finally Tabitha, aided by a family ghost is able to bring some closure to the entire affair.
Discussion: The author has provided an engaging murder mystery for the devotee – the setting, the miserable characters, the multiple suspects, plus the aid of an obliging ghost. The tale is a little slow in beginning but the entire story is quite well presented with important features doled out in a manner that exacerbates the suspense and mystery.
5* Enjoyably mysterious, suspenseful ghost story.