Crime Fiction Reviews | March 15, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewAdler-Olsen, Jussi. A Conspiracy of Faith: A Department Q Novel. Dutton. May 2013. 480p. ISBN 9780525954002. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101624210. F

Danish crime writer Adler-Olsen delivers a third thriller as inventive and suspenseful as previous novels in the Department Q series ( T he Keeper of Lost Causes; The Absent One ). Det. Carl Mørck and his unconventional team investigate cold cases long abandoned by the Copenhagen Police Force. A message in a bottle leads to a decades-old kidnapping that was never reported. Mørck soon realizes that not only were several crimes never reported, but the kidnapper is still at it, targeting the families of religious sects that are reluctant to involve the police. Managing the kidnapping investigation, a current arson case, office politics, and his tricky living situation, the wily cop proves he is still up for a challenge. VERDICT Adler-Olsen’s cast might seem like stock crime-fiction characters at first glance—the curmudgeonly detective, the flighty secretary, the suspiciously resourceful assistant—but in his hands they are unpredictable and entertaining. This series has enough twists to captivate contemporary mystery readers and enough substance and background to entertain readers with historical and literary tastes. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.] —Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL

Black, Cara. Murder Below Montparnasse. Soho Crime. Mar . 2013. 523p. ISBN 9781616952150. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616952167. F

It’s the 13th title in Black’s brisk, engaging “Aimée Leduc Investigation” series, and where is her friend and business partner, René Friant? He’s gone to Zeelakon Vallaay (that’s Silicon Valley, English speakers) for a six-figure job and some troubles of his own. But that doesn’t keep Aimée from plunging into another juicy, culturally intriguing case. When she’s picked up after an assignment by Leduc’s part-time hacker, Saj, he passes along a request from potential client Yuri Volodya, who claims to have known Aimée’s mother. That’s enough to make her persuade Saj to steer toward Volodya’s door, but as they arrive Saj hits and evidently kills a man emerging from between two cars. The man is Serb mafia, bad news for Saj. Meanwhile, Volodya reports that he’s been robbed of a precious painting, though he’s pretty cat-and-mouse about whether Aimée should hunt it down. Aimée learns something about the painting—a portrait that could change our sense of a key historical figure—and about her mother, a shadowy but significant figure in the series we’ll need to rethink. VERDICT Another great Aimée Leduc read; fans will be intrigued by the new developments.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Casey, Jane. The Last Girl. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. May 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780312622015. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250030344. F

In her third outing (after the acclaimed The Burning and The Reckoning ) Maeve Kerrigan, a detective constable in London’s Metropolitan Police, is again partnered with the offensive Detective Inspector Derwent. The two are investigating the brutal murder of the wife and one of the twin daughters of a well-known London defense attorney. When questioned, it becomes clear that the surviving family members are keeping secrets that complicate the case. At the same time, Kerrigan is getting some unexplained mail that threatens her already shaky romantic relationship. All of this occurs during a London heat wave that has everyone on edge, including Superintendent Godley, who is acting very out of character. VERDICT The third time is the charm with this exciting thriller, and Casey’s growing fan base will snatch up the latest entry in what has turned out to be a can’t-wait-for-the-next-one series.—Lisa O’Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewPerry, Thomas. The Boyfriend. Mysterious Pr.: Grove/Atlantic. Mar. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780802126061. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802193681. F

Private investigator Jack Till is hired by the parents of Catherine Hamilton to find her killer. Once a Los Angeles homicide detective, Till is a gutsy, no-nonsense PI who knows the ropes, but has a soft side when it comes to his daughter Holly, who has Down Syndrome. He relentlessly pursues leads to find Catherine’s killer, stepping into the sordid territory of high-priced call girls, from Los Angeles to Phoenix to Boston to Miami. Before long, he discovers that it isn’t just a case of call girls being murdered by their clients. The pattern is in the girls’ looks, all beautiful strawberry blondes, and in a custom-made necklace and anklet each of the dead girls was wearing. Should he be looking for a serial killer? He uncovers yet another twist. This killer, a loner named Joey Moreland, is actually using the call girls as cover for his real job—hit man. The chase is on, and the action ramps up as Till matches wits with a killer who changes identities, knows how to disappear, and has been trained by a paramilitary recluse named Holcomb. ­ VERDICT Perry, the Edgar-winning author of 21 novels ( Butcher’s Boy ), has delivered another fast-paced thriller with unpredictable twists and turns. A guaranteed winner. —Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO