Hunting of Men: LANCE J. LORUSSO
Creating a safe world for people and making sure that they are not in danger is the job of law enforcement. Johnny Till has now been promoted to the Homicide Unit as a Detective and is about the learn the differences between the traffic unit where he solved his last case getting justice for the death of a young child, and hoping to close a case that has been cold for over twenty years. The unit is tight and the Major who runs it seems to have great respect for Johnny who is about to choose his first case. As part of their initiation into the squad, he must enter the cold case file room, go through the files, and choose one to close as his first case. He has no choice. But, first going to the evidence room to gather what he needs, then to supply where he meets Lieutenant Bastion, and we learn his story from the Major. Getting his feathers ruffled when he refuses to hand in his gun for a smaller one with less bullets, Johnny does not realize that he has gained the respect of this man. Determined to make a good first impression and hoping to solve this case which turns out to be the murder of a police officer, Johnny is about to delve into many worlds that will take him deep inside the mind of a killer and in danger. Author Lance, J. LoRusso sets the pace from the beginning as a former law enforcement officer, he created a plot that is realistic, bold, and fierce. Till is now with the Lawler County Police Department and chooses his first case, the murder of Officer Michael Dunlap who was gunned down and killed about 20 years ago.
Reading the case files, looking at the autopsy pictures and the photos of the crime scene he immediately notices some oddities in the wounds. How can he rebuild and retrace the last days of this man’s life and not put others in danger?
We meet Hannah a young girl that is chained to a bed and tries to escape. Just when she thinks she is free her captor enters the room and drugs her so that she does not escape. Her friends are at a bar and one wants to call the police why does she hesitate and now it might be too late. Trying to think about her surroundings when we see her once again, we learn that she and several other girls are part of a human trafficking ring that will sell them into slavery.
Till is now meeting his new partner, Holly, things get interesting as she tests his memory of cases and wants to make sure she is getting a decent partner. But, Johnny delved into the case, created important you might say talking points about the victim and has a good handle on where he might begin.
Till is tenacious and starts off by reviewing the files and making lists of detectives who had the case, any witnesses, and finally he learns something about this cop that leads him to his old school, his principal and getting yearbooks that might have pictures of students that Dunlap had contact with. Did a student kill him if so why? But, the librarian, is odd and stops him stating that she thinks or knows who killed him leading him to learn about Melanie Rast a student that disappeared the day after Dunlap was killed. Is there a connection?
Hannah is still in captivity and no links or knowledge to this sex ring has come to light yet and both Till and Worth his boss plus Holly have interviewed some of the detectives and each one brings something else to light but nothing that will nail the killer that we meet in the prologue.
Till is resourceful and they find Melanie Rast/ AKA/ Maureen Roberts and they learn about the prostitution ring and the name of the person that was behind taking young girls. But will they find Hannah and the rest that are still hidden away?
As the case seems to become together and they meet with Anna Dunlap, a bank robbery is in progress and Till and Holly are the two closest to the bank. The scene is tense, the three robbers think they are going to get away, but an unknown man named Jake and his ability to shoot saves the lives of several people, enables the police to take out the robbers and then facing some injuries of his own. The Lawler Police Force works as a team and each member has his/her own specialty and the author brings to light what happens when everyone including the public works for justice and getting the case solved and the culprits caught.
The Major is a great role model and each member that works with Johnny shows no resentment even the older ones that have had this case a long time but without their help and without what they remember he might not be able to say Solved at the end. The author uses his years in law enforcement and in practicing law to bring to light the many protocols necessary to get warrants, subpoenas and to get the documents needed in order for a case to move forward and be solved. Things begin to come together when one name comes to light Heavy D and the team of retired, active and intelligence and FBI detectives create a collage of evidence that will hopefully bring him down. A cell phone is a powerful ally in this case and the pictures that Franetti pulled off of Heavy D’s phone were quite compelling as this sex trafficking ring come to light, the girls that were taken and used would hopefully be found as US Marshall Millicent Roth, along with Ben Chambers, Ann Castellani and Lieutenant Dan Paschal along with Captain Roscoe with Sergeants Krebs and Bennet were in on the raid of Heavy D’s house and his fate they hoped would be sealed.
With his lawyer who was quite astute warning him to keep quiet and not say anything, Heavy D comes across with something and a name that no one saw coming. Getting the address where the girls were kept, the name of the name who was the head of this ring, taking him down would require coordination and planning. Checkonski was his name and the look on his face when captured priceless and his result you will not see coming. But, this was just the tip of the iceberg as Heavy D wanted a deal that they were not sure anyone would deliver until he gave them the one name that would change all of their lives the person who killed Dunlap. The ending was vividly and brilliantly crafted and created as the author uses his experience in law enforcement and his knowledge of how killers are taken down to create a surprise ending with twists, and turns that even the detectives did no see coming.
Johnny Till is smart, has great instincts and hopes to remain part of the Homicide Unit, but will he? Things get tense and tough and the ending will bring tears to your eyes when you read the final pages and one small piece of white paper. Characters that are believable, true to life and an issue of Human Sex Trafficking that is worldwide and still happening right in front of so many eyes. Johnny Till and his team will continue to go forth and never stop .
HUNTING OF MEN.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews .