Cold Killing by Luke Delaney is a very readable police procedural. The main detective, Sean Corrigan, is assigned to a case where the killer seems too smart, too calculating. Corrigan starts to make connections with cases that don’t seem similar at all, and his task is to prove that a seemingly unrelated set of crimes are, in fact, committed by the same person. The problem is that his belief about the true nature of these connected crimes comes from some deep intuition and psychological kinship with killers, and that’s a difficult kind of “evidence” to talk about or use.
I love me a good mystery/thriller, and I particularly enjoy novels with a forensic element. This book benefits from the fact that the author is a real police officer, so presumably much of the investigative detail is true-to-life.
However, there is one element of this novel that drives me crazy, and I’m increasingly seeing this element in the thrillers I read. In addition to experiencing the novel through the eyes of the detective, we also experience it through the eyes of the killer. The author claims that this book is a bit more “cat-and-mouse” than “who-dunnit.” And it turns out that I prefer a who-dunnit.
A big issue with the approach of living in the head of the killer is that the book is a lot more gruesome and violent than most of the books I enjoy. When we walk with the detective, we might see the after-effects of the crime. When we walk with the killer, we have to live through the crime itself.
This is the first in a series featuring this detective. I don’t think I’ll continue, but I would definitely recommend this book to people whose idea of a beach read involves ice picks and splatter.
You can read an interview with Luke Delaney here.