Thorough account of a quadruple murder in a Houston suburb in 2003.
Veteran true-crime author Phelps (Kill for Me, 2010, etc.) chronicles the story of the killing, which took place inside a home on a usually peaceful street, of best friends Tiffany Rowell and Rachael Koloroutis, both 18; Tiffany's boyfriend Marcus Precella, 19; and Marcus' cousin Adelbert Nicholas Sánchez, 21. For more than two years, Houston police and related law-enforcement agencies seemed stumped by the crime, and it took three years from the day of the slaughter to publicly identify two suspects. Two Houston homicide detectives provide the focal point for Phelps, with numerous other law-enforcement officers entering and leaving the narrative. The author is respectful of the police, never suggesting they are incompetent, but he points out shortcomings of the investigation with admirable detail. The book is primarily a police procedural, but it is also a tribute to the four murder victims. Readers completely unaware of the case will begin to suspect the identity of the murderers, despite numerous other persons of interest as the police pursue a theory of a drug deal gone bad. Illegal drugs were important in the case but not the key to finding the perpetrators. Phelps explains how police, despite their diligence and compassion, might never have found the murderers without guidance from calls to a crime-solving hotline. After police began seeking one suspect, he committed suicide before apprehension. The other one faced trial, which Phelps reports in unimaginative, sometimes overwhelming detail. A jury found her guilty quickly, and she received a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
A thoroughly reported procedural too much repetition and heavy-handed foreshadowing.