Turnabout is Fatal Play: Glenn Harris
Walking and studying his prey a serial killer is hiding in plain sight just waiting to use his handiwork on an unsuspected victim. A killer so sick, diabolical and demented that he creates his own form of mosaic art as he uses his knives and blades on his prey. Enjoying his work yet angry when the victims remain silent and do not respond to his torture, this killer finds ways to make them pay.
Distrust in a marriage can often bring about divorce but in this case it did not. Martin and Beverly Snyder each believed the other was unfaithful and hired private investigators to find out more. Clint McCall and Devon Malone were both hired by the cheating spouses to follow their every movement. Neither one deviated from their routine which led to at first a boring investigation. But, this is a mystery/thriller and the action begins when we learn about the death of Larry Peterson the man Beverly was seeing. Things then spiral out of control as we learned about Fran Jacobs the young woman that Martin was seeing. As well as being his secretary she provided him with the services that his wife he felt could not. So, who would want them both dead and how are their murders linked?
Neither spouse was very forthcoming with either investigator nor the end result was quite unique as Beverly could care less about what happened to Fran Jacoby and Martin even less to Larry.
Portland Homicide Detective Mike Whitehall coordinates with both detectives along with Roger Arbuckle and Bobby Brewster all black belts with two others forming a dojang group of black belts. Larry Patterson and Fran Jacoby were the first two victims but their deaths were not linked to the cheating spouses.
Clint McCall is very protective of his daughter’s safety and when he finds out that two thugs were following her and her new boyfriend, William, action had to be taken added in he had another what you might call gangster in training after him. Two thugs even ransacked his apartment and scared the daylights out of his two cats Stella and Maxine. Transit Technologies seems to be at helm of what is happening but the people at Harvest Futures are just as involved as employees from both were killed. Grace Felton was spying on Transit Technologies and winds up dead.
The scenes with Estelle Van Damme, William’s mother are priceless and her attitude and behavior right out of an episode of the Thin Man or Rockford Files. The voice of the killer is brilliantly sounded as the author creates special chapters for readers to get to know just who he is in a way that most of us would rather not. He is demonic, proud of his work, self-absorbed and loyal to his employer and thinks that killing these women and Peterson showed how much he wanted to keep the secrets that are hidden behind closed doors. Estelle Van Damme lived vicariously in the past and her transgressions fueled her actions. She actually believed in what she had planned and even though her son and his daughter were in danger it did not seem to deter her.
Shady dealings seem to tie Transit Technology and Holistic. Were they into creating weapons and for what reason? Who was privy to the information and how would this tie into the murders? Industrial espionage and much more fueled the killer’s motives and when approached and admitting his guilt the reaction he gets instead of gratitude will astound him. While Malone and McCall search for clues and are a working team someone else decides that they are getting too close. When the killer’s motives are revealed and the links to all three companies are revealed just how do Premiere Stationers, Holistic and Transit Technology tie together and where is the common link? Fran Jacoby and Larry Peterson were both dead and their murders related through this downtown Portland killer but what about Grace Felton and next Elizabeth Allen. Added in his daughter’s gangster mother and her two thugs who are chasing after William and Colleen or are they being paid to protect him?
As they delve closer into Transit and deal with Dr. Sylvester and his assistant never realizing that their secrets would unfold and that McCall is relentless but what happens next changes the dynamics and things spiral even more out of control. Learning more about the Criminal Protection program that the Van Dammes were in and the fact that her ex-lover Cardoza was the head did not stop her from denying many already known facts.
The killer does strike again and you hear his voice loud and clear as he tells the world that he is not only angry but also thrilled with himself and even justifies his actions and his handiwork. Angry when his victims do not cry out in pain and ask for mercy and thrilled when they take their final breath.
With a news reporter at his door and asking questions as he supplies her with the facts about the first two murders and explaining that the wife of her lover was having an affair with Larry Peterson, the wife being Beverly and Fran Jacoby the affair with Martin and Jacoby spying on Transit. With the head of counterterrorism, the police and his group of black belts McCall just might take down more than just a killer. But, can he stop Estelle from taking on the mob? Can he stop her from starting a gang war? Close to Carmine Cardoza and under his protection just how much does she owe him and why is she so bent on her actions? With Carl Gunther and his son Junior providing some humor and characters to get in his way, will they ever let the dust finally settle and the fog clear to catch a dangerous killer another body turns up in the parking garage. The killer is just getting started and when his identity is known and he is actually questioned and released the next victim would cost McCall more than just a temporary partner but his life as well.
Author Glenn Harris started out with a simple case of adultery and ends up with more than must murder, torture, dismemberment, and a killer who believes in what he does and thinks he has outsmarted them all. But, when Malone becomes his next victim just how far will McCall go to safe her from what the killer has already started? Taunted, tested, baited, hunted and shot out Clint McCall is tenacious, brave, smart, persistent and loyal. An ending filled with bends, curves, twists and one huge surprise and a startling conclusion that you just won’t expect. Turnabout is Fatal Play: You had your turn now the killer feels it’s time for him to have his! Scoring high marks and five golden stars author Glenn Harris is right up there with my top thriller writers: Allan Topol, Larry Thompson, Mark Rubenstein, Daniel Palmer and Mike Bond,
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine