This book starts us off in the shoes of Sarah Wade, an emergency room doctor who is watching a man die. The moulage "patient" was not supposed to have a real knife in him...but he did.
We are quickly introduced to the homicide detectives, Sgt. Seamus O'Connor and his partner Sgt. Richard "Stick" Harris, of the St. Louis police, and these two officers will soon be confronted with a string of circumstances that have never come at them quite this way before. A high-profile murder and then a kidnapping follow this strange death at the hospital. Two of the victims in the three cases are blood related, all of the victims were black, and all of the cases seem to have a clear link... don't they? If they pursue the wrong lead, make connections that don't exist, or ignore connections that do, time will run out for Della Winston, the kidnapped young woman.
Suffice it to say that there is so much action in this book that it took my brain a while to catch up and fit the pieces together. All of the characters and plot lines make for such a satisfying stay-up-past-bedtime mystery once you immerse yourself in the story.
The stage is set so carefully, so that the details weave around you as you read. In this story we have multiple themes that are most definitely battlegrounds for followers of Christ today. This novel explores those themes and gets us thinking, for sure. We have history, the history of "eugenics," the Nazi's and Planned Parenthood's own Margaret Sanger being strong promoters of this human "weeding and breeding" idea. We have the "white supremacist movement"... and we have the examples of the lives of people who hold to those ideologies, the ramifications of believing such things.
Thank you Mr. DeGarmo for writing a mystery that made me think... that is the only good kind of mystery, one that deals with life and real issues. And thank you Fred and Nora St. Laurent at The Book Club Network for my review copy!
Braxton can't lay claim to wanting to be a writer all his life, although his mother and seventh grade English teacher were convinced he had what it would take. He went to Duke University, earned a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Engineering with a major in Bio-Medical Engineering, and found his way into medical school at the University of Cincinnati. Following a residency in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, he served tours as the Chief, Emergency Medical Services at Fort Campbell, KY and as a research Flight Surgeon at Fort Rucker, AL. Who had time to write?
By the late 1990's, his professional and family life had settled down, somewhat, and his mother once again took up her mantra, "Write a book. You're a good writer." Yet, with no experience in writing anything other than technical articles, he hesitated to try his hand at fiction. That changed in 1997 when the local newspaper held a writing contest for Valentine's Day. Out of 1100 entries, he made it to the top five finalists and realized that maybe he could write fiction after all.
Fifteen years after that first hesitant start, he can't find enough time to write as much as he'd like. He now lives in Missouri with his wife, Paula. Their two children are grown and with three grandchildren nearby, "Papa" wears a number of hats.