Saturday, September 15, 2012


by Michael J. McCann
Plaid Raccoon Press

This first mystery by Michael McCann has been out for a couple of years now, in fact his third one is due this fall. but this is the one I started with...and I was hooked! It's a police procedural, set in the States, with Lieutenant Hank Donaghue and his partner, Detective Karen Stainer riding the mean streets of, well we don't rally know except that's it's a city in the States.

Donaghue has fallen from his perch as a cop-hero when the mayor is voted out of office and subsequently, his xxx, the chief, loses his job. It's time for payback from the new regime and Donaghue is shunted to the basement but eventually makes it back to homicide. But his nemesis is still gunning for him.

Sounds sort of familiar. Good cop; bad cops down on him; bad guys that are into murder and mayhem. But McCann takes the story and lifts it above the others with his crisp writing style and well thought out characters. Of course, there's the unusual story of the three-year-old boy who claims to be the reincarnation of his older cousin who was murdered. A case Donaghue briefly handled but has been on the cold case desk for a few years. The kid's memories bring the case back to the forefront and Donaghue and Stainer are hot on the trial of the Triad and one member in particular,the dead man's cousin, who is hell bent on retribution.

As we're told on the back cover, "there are over 2,500 documented cases of young children who have reported memories of a previous life". McCann has taken this fact and woven into an intriguing tale of honour, power, and murder. The action is fast paced, the plot intricate and compelling, the characters are ones you want to read about again.

Readers looking for a good crime novel will not be disappointed.

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