Friday, September 15, 2017

Dead Man's Bridge ~ Robert J. Mrazek

Mrazek, Robert J. Dead Man's Bridge. New York, NY: Crooked Lane Books, a division of Perseus Book Group. ISBN: 978-1683312697. $26.99 USD.

Another campus mystery that caught my eye was Dead Man's Bridge by Robert J. Mrazek, a series debut from Crooked Lane Books featuring a new character named Jake Cantrell.  I was not familiar with the author, but after reading Dead Man's Bridge, I am a new fan!

Jake Cantrell, a former soldier, has left the military under a cloud of suspicion, and the only job he can get is that of a campus security guard proffered by an old friend who is the President of the college. During Alumni weekend a former student is found hanging rather gruesomely from a bridge (the titular "Dead Man's Bridge).  Jake is persona non grata with the campus security chief, but his old friend asks him to look into the death quietly.  Using skills he honed in the miltary and contacts he knows from his undergraduate days on the campus, Jake discovers a revenge plot as well as a separate rather kinky blackmail situation to sort out.

All the elements of a great mystery are here: an interesting and slightly mysterious protagonist with a past, an unusual crime, great dialogue, episodes of violence intermixed with logical procedural narrative, and of course, a dog!  Great series debut, and I hope to read more Jake Cantrell mysteries in the future (that hopefully include the war dog, Bug)!

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