THE CASE OF THE STOLEN CASE: CARL BROOKINS
Sean Sean is back in a new murder mystery packed with colorful characters, wild chases that will make the cyclone at Coney Island seem tame, and connections to shady characters, the mob and other gangs that will keep him busy and in dangerous situations. Summoned to meet with Salvatore Belassario at the scene of a tragic house fire in Saint Paul, Sean despite his better instincts decides to assist him in solving the mystery of a murder and robbery that took place eight years ago. Within this murder and robbery as the embers burn and the smell of death permeates in the air, there is a hint that a traveling band of thieves, some in jail and others still at large have plans to conduct real estate scams, find a missing suitcase with millions of dollars as he has to deal with organized crime, the Feds, and making sure that his lover and life partner Catherine Mckerney is safe and unharmed. Just what is in this silver-colored case: Money, jewels or nothing? Targeting Catherine and dealing with the mob, the Feds and more Sean Sean needs to find out who started the fire, why and hopefully get his own form of retribution.
Investigating the fire and then realizing that it might be connected to the Grand Pharmacy robbery brings the fire into a different focus for Sean Sean. With his connections at several law enforcement agencies he hopes to get a lead to the people who pulled off the heist. Learning their names and going to the prison meeting with one man he learns from his actions that there is much more to this case than he was revealing. Murder, the fire and how does Sal fit in? Finding several other witnesses and learning about the death of someone involved, Sean tries to put the facts together but for now he is coming up empty in many areas although there is a link to a man named Mordecai who is Catherine’s relative.
Sean won’t stop until he finds the suitcase from the Grand Pharmacy Robbery as he questions someone in on the heist, learns the names of the others involved and see the one man who knows it all at a black tie function for a Foundation that Catherine is part of. Added in we meet Jack Logan who is in real estate and bells and whistles go off in Sean’s mind as he realizes he too might be involved in the scam. But, George Beechy was beaten and burned to death in his home for a reason was it because of the heist, the scam or something else?
Meeting with Jack Logan in private Sean learns more about the real estate business and begins to try and add up which players were still involved as the author recaps them. But, when Sean calls Sal to inform him about the case and sees him in person his odd behavior and standoff regarding the suitcase bring about several different questions in his mind. Why is Sal acting so strange? Why doesn’t he care about the suitcase anymore? Why doesn’t he care that someone died on his property?
Meeting with someone named Clarissa, Sean learns more about the Talbots, Beechy, Mordecai and the other players in this real estate scam. But, Clarissa was smart and informed the police about what was happening and followed their instructions to continue with the scam but when found out the players in the scam disappeared. One is in jail, others on the loose and things are starting to spiral out of control when Sean Sean decides to check out Mordecai’s apartment and finds himself coming face to face with a gun. Things happen fast, Mordecai shows up and the scene is right out of an Abbott and Costello episode.
Just how does this scam work is vividly described in detail by the author through many different characters. The scams were in Hennepin County and Ramsey County and other places too. The people involved did not like competition and would not hesitate to eliminate anyone that gets in their way. Armand Anderson is at the helm of this along with two brothers named Talbot, Jake Logan a man named Jerry and another woman named Annette. Not in the exclusion of George and what appears to be a link to Catherine’s cousin Mordecai. Armand Anderson set up the real estate operations in North Carolina and later on the west coast. However, profits were collected and then sent or transferred to St. Paul. This is the money that was taken six years before during the Grand Pharmacy murder and robbery. George Beechy realized something went wrong or south and someone ripped off the money in that pharmacy murder. As Sean continues speaking to someone involved he states that he feels this person did the robbery that placed this person in prison and either he did or did not do the murder but the cash is still out of reach and not found. Things spiral out of control and Sean learns more than she should and someone decides to go after not only him but Catherine and that’s when things heat up.
Laura Lipp is a prime contact for Annette since they lived together and she seems to know what is going on but just where is Mordy? How does the scam work the author describe it in detail in pages 162-163? Annette Campbell is staying with her friend she claims but why won’t she tell anyone where Mordy is and is he still alive? When Sean Sean realizes that something is wrong when Catherine claims she is getting unusual phone calls, he rushes to her side at her lawyer’s office but following her home almost proves fatal. Someone in a truck hits right into them sending him reeling forward and Catherine in need of medical care. But, this is not over as Sean has an unusual plan that you have to read because it is so clever and so diabolical you won’t think it will work but you never know. Just what does he do to trap the killers? What does he do the suitcase in question? What role does Annette play and just what is the final showdown of the stolen, purloined case of the stolen case? Why doesn’t Sal want any part of it? Why did he let Sean go? What is the final fate of Armand Construction Services? Will Catherine survive? What’s next for Sean Sean and Catherine? Another day and another investigation by an unorthodox you have to love him private investigator that will go to any length no matter what to solve the case and bring the criminals to justice. With the help of several police connections Sean Sean is one investigator you might say you want on your side and your case. Score some high marks for Sean Sean and author Carl Brookins.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine