Monday, September 29, 2014

An Intimate Murder

Author:  Stacy Verdick Case
Genre:  Mystery

Three Stars

Catherine O'Brien, the irreverent detective, is back in An Intimate Murder. When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murder in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O'Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn't the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?

When I first saw this book, my interest was piqued.  Mainly because it takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota, and I grew up in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul).  So I wanted to read it like all others who find a book that takes place in an area they know well.
Catherine O'Brien is a homicide detective, along with her partner Louise.  When Louise rousts her from home to the scene of a double homicide, she isn't happy, since she was about to "get busy" with her husband.  Hmmm...being a homicide detective, she should be aware of those type of interruptions and should be used to it and not whining about it.  Just my opinion...
Anyway, it appears the couple have been murdered, and, as the title suggests, it was an intimate murder.  The lack of defensive wounds shows that it was someone that they both knew.  Their son Chad found the bodies, and appears to be in shock.  So the investigation begins.
I almost didn't finish this book because a few things didn't make sense.  Catherine, upset with the press, calls them "vultures" and tells them to leave the boy alone.  The press, in turn, are trying to 'climb over' the police to get to the boy.  Whaa...?  I have never known the press, as hard-nosed as they can be sometimes, to try and infiltrate a police investigation.  Why?  Because they would be banned from further investigations, and if they needed help, wouldn't be able to get it in the future.
Also, because she "insults" one of the aggressive reporters, the mayor calls her boss and tells him that she has to give an exclusive interview to one of the reporters.  Election year?  I can't imagine that happening, unless she slugged the reporter or something, which she definitely didn't.
And, as if that's not enough, because she called the reporters vultures, somehow she 'botched the investigation.'  How?  Did she give out privileged information?  No.  Did she allow them access to the house?  No.  Did she allow them access to Chad?  No.  Did she give them the as-yet-to-be-found murder weapons?  No.  Then how did she botch the investigation?  By calling the press vultures!  Personally, I don't see how that botches an investigation, and I don't think readers will think so, either.  There was no indication the investigation was botched.  They hadn't even begun the investigation to any point; they had just found the bodies.  You can't "botch" an investigation by calling the press vultures.  You can make the press angry, but it doesn't really affect the investigation unless one of the reporters is the killer (they aren't.)  And the reporter runs for help every time Catherine offends her.  Really?  Whining is how reporters get ahead in the business?  Jane Katts is unlikeable, and I can't believe any police officer would have anything to do with her after the way she finagles herself into the investigation - which wouldn't happen in real life in a homicide investigation.
Catherine stumbles on the steps of the house slightly just before she makes her statement.  So one of the reporters (Jane Katts) calls her drunk in her story.  In any large police department they would have demanded proof that she were drunk or a retraction.  Or, how about this:  The editor of the paper never would have printed the story without proof.  It's called libel.  These things, unfortunately, stuck with me.  Especially when people who had read the newspaper mentioned her botched (as yet unstarted) investigation.  One owner of a company had to decide whether to allow the detectives to interview her employees.  Excuse me?  It's a homicide investigation.  You don't have a choice.  You cannot tell the police they can't question your employees.  Police ask questions, employees answer.  Also, I'm pretty sure employees don't tell a police detective that her husband is "hot." 
Now, you are going to think that I didn't like the book from what I have said.  Not so.  I just didn't like the fact that these things didn't make sense.  I also didn't care for the foul language.  (the f-bomb).  For those of you who don't like swearing, it was strewn throughout the book.  But I didn't let it affect my reading.
So, anyway, the rest of the book seemed to improve, and the detectives handled it nicely, for the most part.  I liked how the murders were tied in with an older murder, and the resolution seemed believable.  So three stars for the mystery and the resolution.

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