2 out of 4 stars
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Cold Case Closure: A Police Procedural Novel by Patrick Ian O'Donnell and Chuck Gaylor is the fictional account of five unsolved cases and the officers working them in the initial investigations, as well as those trying to solve the cases years later. The lack of admissible evidence sufficient for a conviction often requires the release of suspected perpetrators, and as a result, these cold cases may remain unsolved. Will justice be served?
The book is divided into four parts. In the first, readers are introduced to the California Cold Case Taskforce, Sergeant Grant Frazier, and Officer Mike Grayson. The second part establishes the initial investigations of the five cases and the detectives working them. It's difficult to describe the third and fourth parts of the book without revealing plot spoilers. Suffice it to say, a series of events unfolds intertwining the cases and characters from the previous parts of the book.
As a crime-story lover and fan of shows like Law and Order and CSI, this book was right up my alley. I particularly liked the first part of the book that introduced the characters of the law enforcement involved. The authors' strength was creating well-developed characters, especially Grant Frazier and Mike Grayson. The following excerpt from the book, though specifically referring to Grant, exemplifies the dedication of the two men working the taskforce making them relatable to readers. "There was something about working an unsolved murder case, identifying the killer, and seeing it all the way through to a successful prosecution that gave him a feeling of satisfaction that was unmatched by any other aspect of Grant's law enforcement work."
Unfortunately, I found the authors' inability to keep several of the characters' names straight quite distracting. In one instance, an officer's name was given as Clayton Jones, and then on the following page, his first name was suddenly Stuart. In another example, the suspect was known to law enforcement only by an alias, but later, the officer referred to him using his actual first name and the alias last name. It was confusing and frustrating to read. In each instance, I had to stop, go back, and reread to clarify which character was being described.
Additionally, portions of the plot lagged, causing me to lose interest. The book is also in need of professional editing as I noted numerous errors including incomplete sentences. For all of the above reasons, I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars. Despite these issues, it has an interesting premise and potential to earn a higher rating after a thorough round of editing. I recommend the book to readers who enjoy mysteries and crime stories. It will also appeal to fans of CSI and Law and Order.
Cold Case Closure
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