Black Lies, Red Blood
Ann Lindell Mysteries #5
Minotaur Books, May 2015
ISBN : 978-1-250-04263-7
Ann Lindell has been portrayed in prior entries in this series as an unhappy person but an excellent detective. In this novel she starts off on cloud nine, having hooked up with Anders Brant in a short but highly satisfactory love affair, only to be disappointed when he takes off on a trip. And soon she learns that he might be involved in a murder inquiry; no one knows how to contact him and he doesn’t respond to e-mails.
Meanwhile, Ann becomes obsessed with a different murder, that of a 16-year-old girl, while the rest of the department is involved with the slaying of a homeless man, which in turn is followed by additional killings. And Brant, somehow, has some involvement with all three investigations. Ann keeps mum about knowing Brant and the pressure mounts on her, not only to solve her own case, but somehow to get in contact with her sometime lover and discover the facts about him and his connection with the murders.
This is not an easy novel to read; it is slow reading, and one has to plod through it with all of its complications and permutations, much less the unsatisfactory descriptions of Ann’s assorted sex life and other sexual references, many of which appear to be gratuitous. Despite these comments, the author has once again written an excellent crime story, and it is recommended.
Reviewed by Ted Feit, April 2016.