Monday, September 25, 2017

The Names Of Dead Girls by Eric Rickstad

 Twenty years ago, Frank Rath came home to a sight that would define his life.  He found his sister and her husband, horribly murdered and savaged.  Upstairs, he finds his baby niece, crying in her crib.  Since then, his life has been focused on raising that girl, the girl he calls his daughter, Rachel. He gave up his career as a detective in order to focus on what was most important.   The man who committed the crime, The Preacher, was found and convicted.

Unbelievably, Preacher has now been granted parole.  He calls Rath to taunt him, to remind him that he has returned to this same small Maine town, and to threaten to make himself known to Rachel who is now attending college nearly.  He claims that Rachel is actually his daughter and that he wants to claim her as his own.

Rath is determined to prevent Preacher from getting anywhere near Rachel.  Over the years, he has gone back to detecting on a consultant basis when the crime was too much for the small law enforcement office in the town.  He agrees once again to return until Preacher can be sent back to prison.  Some murders of young girls have occurred and more have occurred over the border in Canada.  Everyone suspected that Preacher had been active with more murders than had ever been tied to him.  Is this his chance to rid himself and his daughter of their nemesis?

This is the third novel in the Frank Rath/Sonja Test police series.  The central fact of the series is the horrific murders of Preacher and he is the kind of character that keeps one awake at night.  The pace is breathless, the chapters short and choppy, racketing up the tension from page to page.  This is a series I'll continue to follow.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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