Saturday, May 9, 2015

Innocent Blood: A John Jordan Mystery - Michael Lister

Innocent Blood: A John Jordan Mystery
Michael Lister
Pulpwood, May 5 2015, $26.95
ISBN 9781888146493

In 1979 tweener John Jordan obsesses over the growing number of Black male children vanishing in the Atlanta area.  The latest missing child Edward Hope Smith disappeared after leaving the Greenbriar Skating rink only to be found dead a week later; other murders followed over the next few years. 

In 1980, twelve year old John’s parents take him and his two siblings on a vacation in Atlanta.  At the Omni Arcade, John intrudes on a man trying to persuade a boy his age to leave with him.  Several months later FBI agents question Wayne Williams.  Soon after their second interrogation, Williams holds a press conference in which John recognizes him as the creepy adult at the Omni Arcade.  He informs his father who works with the task force trying to end the serial killings.  After graduating high school, John remains obsessed over the Atlanta Child Murderers in spite of Williams’ conviction.  Looking closely at problems with the prosecution’s case and applying it to a murdered deceased not included on those considered victims of Williams, Jordan investigates.

The keys to the tremendous seventh John Jordan mystery are the plausible inquiry and resolution to the Atlanta Child Murderers that haunted the city thirty-five years ago and the hero’s traits remain consistent with his later cases as a chaplain (see Blood Sacrifice and Rivers to Blood).  Innocent Blood is an excellent amateur sleuth based on a real serial killing case.

Harriet Klausner

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