Shadows of Deceit: Mell Corcoran
Detective Lou Donavan will stop at nothing and use every resource she can to solve a case. Hard nosed, tenacious, persistent and very outspoken, Lou might be difficult to deal with but she manages to get the job done. So, benching her from active duty due to a life threatening injury, Lou cannot just sit back and allow others to do the work she wants to accomplish. Friend and Medical Examiner Caroline and her team of detectives are back again to solve a bizarre case of triple murder. Belonging to a clandestine group called the Sanguinostri , and headed by their Dominor there is a network of agents, assistants and one hot, handsome and dangerous man named Max at her disposal. With one deputy medical examiner playing both sides of her huge fence making sure she receives the information this covert group has in order to get to solve the case, Lou Donovan is quite dynamic, unique and her approach is her own. But, this case or novel opens with Lou at home recovering from her injuries and hoping to be placed on active duty. Three bodies were found in the home of a prominent coffee dealer. The bodies were of three men belonging to dangerous gangs and drug cartels and her found headless. Using her resources and friendship with those within her Sanguinostri group, Lou is able to get the information needed.
Max is elusive, dangerous and his presence makes Lou shiver and shake but not in a fearful way. Attracted to him she would like to be placed on his romantic radar but shows no signs of any interest. Deputy Corner Caroline Devereux and Deputy Peter Carpesh work closely with her to find the answers. But, first let’s learn more about the case, the murder victims and the missing businessman.
Under the guise of a law firm called Julian and Associates this clandestine group deal with situations in their own way. The resources available to them go far beyond that of any police department of FBI technology. As the three bodies are identified and two more come to light just why was Casio and his girlfriend Angela Boone placed in the same bed, tied together and used as kindling?
Things heat up as Lou is finally cleared to get back to work and she meets whom everyone refers to as candidate number 8. With Vinny promoted to a higher rank she is down one permanent partner and Dillon Cole seems to be a perfect replacement. Adheres to procedures, astute, smart and knows his way around a crime scene, everyone including Lou is impressed.
Lou, her mom Shevaun and her stepfather have their own secrets as we remember that they all became part of this secret group, her turned and as with Max have special attributes. Meeting at her mother’s house they discuss the limited evidence they have and the three murders. Someone went to a lot of trouble to decapitate three notorious men, leave their heads in the bed with the Angela and Casio but why? As Caroline and the forensic team work carefully and methodically to access any evidence and preserve it what they find out will lead them in a direction that they do not expect.
The author brilliantly relates the history behind the Sanguinostri, their affiliation with blood, their live span and why they remain secret. As the bodies pile up and Lou takes a more active part with the help of Niko and Frank she learns more. But, Dillon seems to have the pulse of the investigation at hand, asks the right questions and with her partner Vinny DeLuca having her back, a three murders and three missing heads the case gets stranger by the minute.
With limited evidence and information needed about the Arcano executives just what did happen to Casio and who wanted full control of Arcano Imports. Deceits, betrayals, lies and false leads are just part of what Lou and her team face in order to take down the Vargas brothers. Meeting with Peter Taylor they learned about the inside workings of Arcano imports, who would take over if something happened to him and the end result if his sister would become part of the company. Someone wanted the entire pie you might say for himself and lives would be lost, more heads would literally roll as author Mell Corcoran allows readers inside the world of a dangerous drug cartel. Marco Salazar, Johan Esterhuizen and Juan Salazar are the men whose heads were found. Each one either a Columbian National or in the case of Esterhuizen a South African arms dealer as the author allows readers to know that not everyone is what they seem.
With Dillon as her new partner will Lou have to hide that she is part of the secret agency? But, the hidden truth behind what happened to Casius Arcano, the real identity of Angela Boone will lead the investigators into territories reminding readers of the Sanguinostri history, the significance of blood, the drinking of the blood and how the evolution of technology helped to advance their knowledge of the mysteries of the Sanguinostri blood. But, to learn more and fully understand just how they survive, have such long lives you need to read the history of the Sanguinostri on pages 181-183.
The players have finally been identified and Max is determined to handle the interrogations himself as he wants Rojas alive, the Vargas’s disposed of and Cameron Timme questioned and dealt with. Allowed to meet out their own form of justice that is not foreign to many other covert of secret agencies, Max and his team, Frank, Abby and Niko, Captain Addison and others will race the clock before they elude capture. But, someone from Lou’s past shows up in the present and although she had one more incident that caused her to backslide and her injuries rekindled as she enters her car and does not see who’s is hiding and the end result could cost her everything.
But, family ties and loyalties are everything and when Max learns about a serious problem related to Lou’s family what he decides to do will once again bring danger to those involved, change her family’s dynamics and possible cause others to turn. Will they adhere to the rules and abide by the special ritual? Will it cost anyone his or her life? Twenty-eight days to undergo the transformation? Lou is stretched to the limit and needs to depend on others just to get around as Albert resurfaces and one man’s apparent deceit and betrayal could become her only salvation.
Justice the old fashioned way. Interrogations that might make those on CSI and Cold Case mild as author Mell Corcoran takes readers behind the scenes of a crime family out for revenge. Each member of the crime family blaming the next and the final outcome up to Max and his team.
The hand of revenge is quite mighty and strong and the end is heart stopping. Will Dillon cut it as her partner. Who committed the triple murders? Just whose head is on the BMH List?
Luis Arcano: accident or murder? Carlos Vargas: How far will he go to get what he wants? Families pitted against each other and not much time to get answers. Principate’s working together but who in the organization betrayed their trust? Heroin, drubs, shipments, brothers fighting for control and no one taking ownership. But, there is more! What about the harvesting operation and a special child? Shadows of Deceit: There are many that still are still out there as some are made to pay but others will cast a shadow long and dark until they are finally caught! What is next for Lou? Well maybe she and Max will finally connect? Will Dillon remain? What about those that have decided to turn? Only our author knows the answer when she completes the next chapter in this series.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
This book gets: FIVE GOLDEN CUPS OF KONA