RING A RING OF ROSES by Randall K. Scott


iUniverse (224 pp.)
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Brutality ascends to new heights in this intriguing, gore-filled mystery spanning the centuries from the plague-ridden England of the 1660s to modern-day Alabama.

Birmingham Police Detective Robert Bailey should spend less time sucking in colossal amounts of bourbon and more time dating, or so believes his partner, the sexy Alexandra Tyler. Humor usually serves as the odd couple’s salvation, until they are lured into an investigation exploring a chain of barbaric attacks and murders. In case after case, the recently deceased exhibit startlingly advanced evidence of decomposition–as if they were drenched in acid. Little is left at a string of grotesque murder scenes except liquefied remains, an empty pile of clothes and the cloying, funereal scent of flowers. Meanwhile, Jake Sexton, the cold-blooded leader of a trio of misfits, wreaks havoc on everyone he encounters. Nobody is safe, from convenience-store clerks to pretty college coeds to strangers in a parking garage–until one cohort, fearing for her life, drops the clues necessary to lead Bailey and Tyler in a new direction. There, with the help of mysterious history professor Victoria Price, one of Bailey’s exes, the cops discover an ancient society of “examiners” charged with the eternal search and destruction of descendants of 17th-century gravediggers–like Sexton–who handled bubonic-plague victims.

Randall employs historical facts, and plenty of fancy, to spin a tale that begins slowly but eventually races to a breathless finish with the help of Price, who offers a killer surprise of her own.

ISBN: 0-595-41170-3
Program: Kirkus Indie
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