A complex thriller involves a kidnapping, vicious murders, and a dedicated team of sleuths.
This debut novel is set in fictional Springtown, where beautiful, statuesque Diane Oliveres has just begun her well-deserved, yearly two-week vacation in the quietude afforded by the rural hamlet. But her cheating husband, Dan, is already busy hooking up with another woman, and a maniacal killer moves in to murder him and his mistress. The culprit, now with two fresh bodies, meticulously stores them deep in the woods hoping for a ransom opportunity. But before he exposes the bodies to the public, the perpetrator needs to find and kidnap Diane for the whole plan to succeed. Like clockwork, Diane inexplicably disappears, and her brother, Brooklyn Police Detective Patrick Malley, is hot on the scene, carefully retracing his sister’s last steps. Alert and anxious, Malley pieces together clues and follows leads to uncover Diane and her husband’s former whereabouts, though he shows much less concern for the womanizing Dan. But a recent crime spree through Springtown, a collection of stolen cars parked deep in the woods, and a violent attack on Malley complicate matters. The bustling plot really begins to gain momentum once the author, who’s also a playwright and singer, establishes a firm grip on the characters anchoring the mystery. Besides expert police investigators Malley and Ben Stone, Nicholas “Papa” Malone, the chief medical examiner for the township’s highly regarded crime lab, appears on the scene, ably assisting the detectives. As the villains up the stakes and release the bodies of Dan and his mistress, their increasing violence puts Malley in grave danger as the number of victims multiplies and the crimes garner widespread FBI attention. Linkletter even makes enough room in his busy plot for Malley and Malone to consummate a passionate love affair. While a good amount of suspense and intrigue permeates the antics, the novel is in dire need of character development and an organization of events and plotlines. But even if one character name gets sloppily interchanged (“Mally” instead of “Malley”), suspense fans should find that this convoluted tale delivers just enough dastardly crimes to keep the pages turning.
A mildly gripping mix of villains and do-gooders headlined by a seasoned, likable detective who intends to save the day.