Dead of Knight – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
“It’s a good day to die,” he said quietly. “Pardon?” “Happy birthday, Kim.” “What?” She retreated a step. “How did you know it’s my birthday?” Tyro clenched the lighter in his fist, pulled back and struck a quick blow to her throat. The porcelain cup of steaming coffee burst from her grip and smashed to the ground. Her eyes widened in shock as she clutched at her neck and sunk to her knees. He grabbed her hair in both hands and slammed her face down against his rising knee once, twice, releasing her so that she cracked her head against the wall. He stepped aside to survey the results of his attack. “You have accomplished a great deal in your thirty-two years, haven’t you, Miss Walker?” he said as he dragged her into the hidden space between the two dumpsters. “Two illegitimate children, a deadbeat boyfriend, and a minimum wage job slinging burgers to the scum of the earth.” He undid his leather belt and pulled it from his waist.
Jack Stall is a detective with the Hanson Major Crime Section. At times, teams from his department are sent to a crime scene to start the work-up and secure the scene until the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team arrives. Jack and his partner Rachel Gooch have both been assigned to this preliminary work for two prior cases where the victims have been violently raped and murdered on their birthdays. The media has dubbed the killer as “Birthday Boy.” Now they can add a third victim to the list with the killing of Kim Walker, who has been murdered on her birthday.
Author William R. Potter takes Jack Stall through the wringer with Dead of Knight. He is already fighting depression from a mass killing in the park. His deceased partner’s wife Wendy Reynolds has called asking him to find her missing daughter and now the Birthday Boy killings. This may be a lot for one person to deal with, even in fiction, but the writing abilities of William R. Potter not only makes the characters believable but the story as well. This story was so well written. There were no super cops coming along to save the day. The events unrolled so well that you actually felt as if you were following a real police story. This is one author that I will continue to follow and will be waiting on his next Jack Stall Mystery. Until then, I’ll be indulging myself in his book Lighting the Dark Side.