Trail of Blood
By Lisa Black
Most investigators would not be interested in a murdered body that was killed seventy-five years ago. However, Theresa MacLean, a forensic scientist, is more than intrigued by this discovery especially when she identifies the body of a long-dead policeman.
An older building is being destroyed and as the construction crew is preparing for the complete annihilation of it, they discover a secret room with the remains of this man on a table where it seems that his blood was drained. Who had access to this room? Why would someone have this type of table in a business? Where did the drain lead to? Who knew about this?
This policeman, James Miller, seemed to be one of the few uncorrupted officers at the time. However, he was listed as a deserter of the force when in actuality he was murdered.
Trail of Blood goes back to the mid-1930s, with Eliot Ness being assigned as the leader of the corrupt police force of Cleveland, Ohio and accepting the challenge to clean-up the force. Unfortunately, there seems to be a copycat killer from the 1930s known as the Torso Killer who is leaving new evidence to this old crime.
The strength of this mystery was the realism. Some evidence did not lead to the conclusion, whereas, others did. The reader had to sort out the information as the evidence and interviews were revealed. With various point-of-views, this approach included the reader as actually part of the investigation.
The weakness of this mystery was the lack of attachment for the characters. They all seemed depressed and involved with their own personal misery. This slowed down the pacing considerably while developing a believable storyline.
Lisa Black actually works as a forensic scientist and obviously utilizes this experience in her books. She currently resides in Florida.
The storyline development with the various point-of-views made this an interesting novel by an unusual writer with true forensic experience. I plan to read more by this author to see how she approaches her other novels.