A parole board chair’s murder makes both politicians and the press anxious.
While preparing for a tryst with his secret new lover, an exotic dancer, Levi Vogue is gunned down by a trenchcoated figure. Since Vogue was chairman of the parole board, Norm Sloan, the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Corrections, assigns the case to the Chief of his Special Investigative Branch (SIB), narrator Sam Kincaid. Once recently divorced Sam is teamed with athletic, impulsive Salt Lake detective Katherine McConnell, sparks instantly fly, though their professionalism prevents anything more. Tracking exotic dancer Sue Ann Winkler and her mother Lou Ann, who pimps for her at the motel she owns, leads them to Big Bad John Merchant, Sue Ann’s jealous boyfriend. When these potential suspects fail to pan out, it’s back to square one—almost. A vigilant witness gets a license plate number that leads to Charles “Slick” Watts, a career criminal with a serious grudge against Vogue. Watts is found shot in his car, a suicide note close by. But an autopsy that reveals his death as a murder leads Sam and McConnell to shift their probe to Vogue’s family and other members of the Utah Parole Board.
A refreshing throwback to the lean, straight-ahead police procedurals of the Dragnet era. In his fiction debut, Norman’s precise, foursquare prose is a perfect match for his story. Bring on the series.