Croaker: Kill Me Again by Paul Bishop
The plot kept me guessing to the end.
LOS ANGELES HOMICIDE DETECTIVE Fey Croaker must solve the recent murder of a pretty, forty-something woman whose fingerprints surprisingly identify her as a previous murder victim from eighteen years earlier.
At 43, Fey Croaker has survived three dead-end marriages, a severely abusive upbringing, and the relentless resentment of her male colleagues on the force. Now, because of a streak of unsolved murders, she feels extra pressure to solve the murder of a mysterious woman who had multiple IDs in different names, a million dollars in cash, and only new clothing and furniture in her equally new condo at the time of her death.
Fingerprints inexplicably reveal the woman had already been murdered – 18 years earlier in San Francisco. Despite this twist, the case appears to be open and shut – the woman’s ex-husband, convicted of killing her the first time, was released on parole weeks before her second murder. However, the victim has many more surprises for everyone involved – especially for Fey, who finds herself becoming one of the suspects when her investigation takes a turn for the deadly.
PRAISE FOR CROAKER: KILL ME AGAIN:
“Throughout the story, what seems obvious is contradicted in labyrinthine ways in this complicated, compelling thriller.” – Publishers Weekly
“Bishop not only writes with humor and wit, but with keen insights into flawed heroes and deadly killers.” – Faye Kellerman
About Paul Bishop:
A thirty-five year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, Paul has twice been honored as Detective of the Year. As well as numerous novels, he has also written scripts for episodic television and feature films. As a nationally recognized interrogator, he appears regularly on the hit ABC reality series Take The Money And Run . . .
Amazon Review by J. H. Murphy:
I’ve read all but one of Detective Bishop’s books now and this may be the best of the Fey Croaker series. The plot is complex, with a twist a few pages from the end that I didn’t see coming, although the hints were there. This mystery seems to have the best balance of Fey Croaker’s personality (self-doubt, anguish, and determination), LAPD procedure, and the plot itself.
The supporting cast is a little less colorful than in the other Fey Croaker books – Alphabet and Hammer and Nails are missing from this one, for example – but one detective’s obnoxious behavior is a plot element that had to have more time than the other players. And in this book Croaker’s horses actually take part in the story, not just serve as props. But the plot shines here – unfolding the identity of the murdered woman, tracking down her aliases, following the money, all leading to a surprising ending.
As in some of the other books, a liberal defense lawyer mucks up the investigation, although Janice Ryder is colder and less obnoxious than similar characters elsewhere in the Fey Croaker series. And the investigation is subject to the whims of internal politics. All of this is well blended to produce a book which manages to keep the suspense going.
When reading any of Paul Bishop’s books, I get a real flavor of life on the other side of the counter at the West L.A. police station. This is a police procedural mystery, but doesn’t trip into the pitfalls which make other similar books drag. As another review noted, it may take a while to track this down, but it’s worth the effort.
If you are a regular mystery reader, this one should be on your reading list. Bon Apetit!