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by Harker Moore
Mysterious Press, July 2004
336 pages
ISBN: 0892967757

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

A new serial killer is loose on the night streets of New York City. He's targeting young, thin, pretty women who frequent rave clubs. This killer's MO is unique. He drugs the young women so there's no defense possible, then he suffocates them and surgically removes and rearranges their important internal organs. He then wraps them in a special plastic in a specific way and finishes by treating his victims as refuse, throwing them in dumpsters and in garbage heaps.

By the time the police recognize that there's a new killer operating in the city, he's already killed numerous times - and is starting to change his MO.

NYPD homicide detective, James Sakura, who was successful in solving and stopping the last rash of murders in the first of this series, is called upon to find the killer. He assembles his favorite investigating team, including his old partner Michael Darius and the ex-FBI profiler, psychiatrist Wilhelmina French, who are now living together.

Meanwhile, Sakura's remarkably sensitive blind wife Hanae has finally returned from her stay with her parents in Japan. She had been healing and regaining her strength from her encounter with a killer months earlier and is now back home in New York City fiercely determined to become a more useful partner in helping her husband understand the mindset of the killers he pursues.

This interesting book is different in that it includes the histories of all the lead characters, showing how their past has influenced and shaped the people they are today. These are not perfect individuals, all are hunted by their past. The author, Harker Moore, also includes the presence of a few twisted psychopaths, all peculiar enough in their tastes to keep the readers guessing as to who the murderer's identity is. All in all, this treats us to a first-rate mystery and keeps the readers thinking, busy adding everything the accomplished writer gives us.

I will warn the squeamish that there are a little too many lovingly-detailed paragraphs dedicated to describing some extremely disgusting habits of the individuals who live on the dark side of the human psyche. If you have a weak stomach or a low threshold for kinky behavior, you might not want to read this book. But for the rest of you who are used to reading a certain amount of gore, this book is well-written, beautifully so at times, with a fine mystery and three-dimensional good guys.

I recommend A MOURNING IN AUTUMN. It's not an easy read, but it is a satisfying well-crafted mystery. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, July 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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