Review of ‘The First Shot’

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As a homicide detective, Tampa Detective Carl Kane is accustomed to death. But his latest case, three dead drug dealers and two middle-aged women killed execution style at the same scene, has him stumped. When he gets another multiple homicide with the same M.O., he knows he has a problem on his hands, but even he’s unprepared for the madman he’s now chasing.

The First Shot by E. H. Reinhard is pretty tense noir mystery, with vivid descriptions of some pretty gruesome action (a warning for the benefit of the squeamish), and brief glimpses into the minds of the characters.

I give this one four stars.

Review of ‘Drained’

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Former Tampa homicide cop Hank Rawlings has been accepted into the FBI, and his first assignment is with the bureau’s prestigious serial crimes unit. To add to the pressure, he’s immediately assigned to a case involving a serial killer in Chicago who drains the blood from his victims. Working with a partner who he knows is assessing his performance, and dealing with a wife who likes being ‘in charge,’ including deciding how he’ll dress for work, Rawlings is feeling the pressure immensely. As he and his partner get closer to the killer, it becomes more than job pressure—the lives of him and his partner are in danger.

If you’re a fan of the ‘Criminal Minds’ TV series, you’ll love E. H. Reinhard’s Drained, the debut book in the Agent Hank Rawlings FBI Thriller series. Told alternately from Rawlings’ first person view and a third person view of the killer, this story will keep you guessing even after you’ve figured out who the killer is. Reinhard has the ability to string the suspense out until it’s as taut as a violin string. The characters and action come alive under his skillful hand. This is don’t-miss action for thriller fans.

I give it five stars.

Review of ‘Malevolent’

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When an unidentified dead blonde is found in a Tampa parking lot with a brand on her hand, Tampa police Lieutenant Carl Kane is put on the case. He soon learns that they’re on the trail of a serial killer who is experimenting, and when they finally find a victim who hasn’t died, there’s a message for Kane, and the case becomes intensely personal. This is Malevolent by E. H. Reinhard.

An interesting book—written in two different points of view, first person when we’re in Kane’s head as he tracks the killer, and then in third person when we see the world as the killer sees it. Before reading Malevolent I would have dismissed this technique as gimmicky and probably impossible to effectively pull off. Reinhard surprised me, though—he did it. By the one-quarter mark in the book, I was no longer really noticing point of view—it just seemed natural.

A police procedural, it goes into a bit of detail on how the cops work: normal for the genre, and I assume accurate, having no knowledge of how Tampa PD works, but not so much that those of us who want to focus on clues and red herrings are turned off. It did not disappoint. I give it four stars.