Anatomy of a Killer By John L. Evans

Anatomy of a Killer is a novel consisting of three cases based on true events that follow a police department in South LA.  The first of these stories involves a war veteran who is missing when his fiancé turns up dead in their apartment discovered by his father.  The second story involves a murdered wife of a prominent doctor that may point to a female police officer being the murderer.  The last case is about a Hollywood star who ends up bludgeoned to death in his home with no immediate suspects.  All three cases are intriguing and provide lots of suspense for the reader right down to the final pages.

The characters in this book are interesting and quirky especially the suspects that are investigated.  The police detectives read a little stereotypical however.  Perhaps the most unique characters can be found in the final story involving the death of a Hollywood actor.  When the two suspects are indicted for murder the landlady, herself a former actress, flamboyantly signs a deal for a book and holds a press conference in her ball gown in her home trying to share in some of the lime light.  Meanwhile a famous author drops by the police station to get the first hand at getting the arresting police officer’s story for his own book involving the murders.  And prior to this the police had to sift through the victim’s affair with a gay man while married to his wife.  The victim’s life was rather dysfunctional and crazy to say the least and makes for a really suspenseful read that leaves the reader with their mouths open at a few parts.

The dialogue in the book could use some work.  It reads flat; not like a person would talk in real life.  The author did use a lot of dialogue which is always good in a novel as it helps to show not tell the reader what is going on and should be commended for that.  I just wish it wasn’t so dry.  The author also had a few places that didn’t add up for instance that a news report would break into a show and report that two murder suspects were arrested when in fact they had not only been arrested but had also been indicted for murder so they would have been arrested days before their hearing.  There were several of these kind of inaccuracies that don’t deter from the novel as a whole but might throw a reader for a few moments.  I was also a little confused by how often the partners were missing from the scenes which doesn’t seem to be usual for police work.

One thing I really felt was unique to the novel was the use of the news stories and television break ins to update the reader on the case.  It was a very clever way of summing up something that could have been written very boringly.  The author has a good tone set for the novel with their writing as well that makes the book feel like a detective novel.  These were three stories with a lot of twists and turns that made good reading and were great selections!  Even the parts that the reader will figure out end in ways that were never expected.  The main detective, Kellerman, and the Captain, Russo, were also a good choice for main characters even if they were a little stereotypical and I’d be interested in following more of their cases.  Overall, a memorable and well done job on this novel.

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