Today’s Mystery Monday feature is Lawful Disobedience by J. L. Redington. This is the first book I’ve read by Redington and it won’t be the last. At the beginning of the book, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it — it sounded like there’d be a lot of sex in it whereas I’m looking for a murder mystery. The hero, Sawyer Kingsley, seemed to just have one terrible event after another come into his life to the point where he hits the booze. But then, it really picked up and became compelling.
Sawyer Kingsley has a great life — he’s engaged to be married to a really smart prosecuting attorney, he loves his job as a detective, he’s got a great partner, and his boss is a strict but fair captain who is also able to show compassion. Then, things start to fall apart. He’s called to a murder scene with 5 victims — mom, dad, and three teenagers — and not a trace of evidence to be found anywhere. Then Sawyer’s partner gets killed in a ghastly, obscene manner, his girlfriend breaks off their engagement and leaves town, he gets stuck with a desk job, has to go for counselling, is barred from investigating the murders, and eventually is forced to work with a female partner, Esley Rider, new to their town of Blakely, Iowa, who’s has a superhero complex”. Apparently, they’re both on their last chance so it’s work together or be out on their ears.
As he and Esley start to hit their stride together, Sawyer slowly realizes that the killer isn’t done: he’s out to get Sawyer — it’s personal. At Esley’s suggestion, Sawyer gets a hold of his cousin from Alaska — a native tracker who is quite famous in law enforcement circles. Now, Redington lives in Alaska and it seems to me she knows what she’s talking about when she writes about Kingsley’s cousin, Grant Mulvane being “an old soul, even as a child” and having the gift of scenting out evil. It was fascinating reading about how he worked. The second thing that I found really interesting in the story was the counsellor Sawyer had to see, Maizy Trakerson. It was interesting watching Kingsley work through the grief he had from the loss of his partner and how Maizy was able to help him and a lot of it resonated with me.
There were a lot of surprises in this story and really interesting character development. The slaying of the family in Iowa reminded me of the killing of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas because of the isolation of the farm, lack of witnesses, and the senselessness of it but that’s where the resemblance ends. It also turned out to be a fast read because I couldn’t put it down — read it in one day. Looking forward to the next book in this series. * * * *
If you, too, are a fan of mysteries, I hope you’ll not only enjoy my Monday posts but will contribute by publishing your own Monday Mystery, mentioning my meme, then come to my blog, comment on your mystery (or mine) briefly, and include the link directly to your mystery review. You can also copy my MMM badge to your post.