Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deadly Deception-Marie Romero Cash

Deadly Deception

Marie Romero Cash

Camel, Nov 15 2012, $12.95

ISBN: 9781603818933

In 2001 in Santa Fe, a person screams at State Policeman Don Ilford for failing to hit the tree with his car correctly. The individual fixes the scene so that investigators believe that Don’s wife Rose died in a car accident. Ilford’s neighbor paramedic Roger Streeter arrives at the accident and notices anomalies, but is ignored. Afterward, he wonders why Don told him his wife had leukemia while she denied it and why he exaggerates his injuries. State Police Captain Jeff Whitney accepts Don’s story that he was rushing his wife to the hospital when he lost control and crashed though there is no skid marks.

In 2008, the police commissioner, under pressure from Rose’s influential family, orders Whitney to reopen the investigation, he does nothing. One year later, forensic psychologist Jemimah Hodge is assigned to look into the cold case. She asks Santa Fe County Sheriff Department Detective Rick Romero, head of the Cerillos satellite office, for help; explaining that Whitney is uncooperative. He agrees though he knows working with her will be difficult as he is attracted to her though she keeps him at a distance. He is unaware of the trauma of her Mormon roots. Whitney warns Rick to drop the inquiry, which he refuses even when someone tries to kill him and Jemimah.

The second Jemimah Hodge Santa Fe police procedural (see Shadows among the Ruins) is a superb investigative thriller that combines a strong mystery in spite of knowing the accident was murder and solid personal relationship issues (her Mormonism and his ex-con brother). Though the Fed Sandra Gorman feels forced into the plot, readers will appreciate this entertaining whodunit wondering who lectures Ilford at his wife’s death scene.

Harriet Klausner

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