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by Jeff Crook

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-00028-6
Publisher: Minotaur

A camera purchased by Jackie Lyons, former Memphis vice detective, photographer and recovering junkie, lands her in the center of a major murder case.

Burned out of her apartment, Jackie’s just moved to a much nicer one that just happens to be haunted. Former coke addict Sgt. Adam McPeake, one of her friends on the Memphis force, has recommended her for some work shooting crime scene photos for Deputy Chief Billet, who’s feuding with the medical examiner. The most recent corpse Jackie’s photographed may be a victim of the Playhouse Killer, who arranges each of his gruesomely murdered victims to echo a scene from a play. Jackie’s newest camera is a Leica she bought from James St. Michael, still a suspect in the murder of his wife, a photographer who worked the social scene. Strangely, the camera takes pictures on its own and seems to capture the ghosts in Jackie’s new apartment. Jackie sells crime scene photos to Michi Mori, a wealthy Japanese American whose sinister house is home to an ever-changing group of young gay men. When the murder investigation leads to his house, Jackie, who hasn’t lost her edge as a detective, gets deeply involved in the case, putting herself in mortal danger.

In a departure from his fantasy Dragonlance series (Dark Thane, 2003, etc.), Crook presents a dark and creepy mystery with a brave but deeply flawed heroine. A promising series kickoff, even though it telegraphs the killer early.