Triple Play

Elizabeth Gunn, Author Walker & Company $21.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3307-8
Responding to a call to the local softball field, Rutherford, Minn., police detective Jake Hines is shocked to find a young male corpse, wearing an unmarked, musty player's uniform, lying spread-eagled, his missing genitals replaced by a bat. On the man's chest is a snapshot of the body. Because crimes like this don't occur in his all-American town, Jake calls the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul for help. The victim is identified as ne'er-do-well, but as Jake traces the uniform and outdated metal-cleated shoes, a second body is found. Dressed in an identical uniform and propped behind home plate, this one's hand is severed and has the first victim's genitals stuffed into his mouth. A snapshot of the scene is pinned to his jersey. Convinced he's dealing with a serial killer, Jake searches files for similar mutilation murders. But it isn't until a third body, an apparent suicide, surfaces that he's finally able to sort out the gruesome series of events. Low-key, native-Minnesotan Jake, with his rough childhood in foster homes and his recent divorce, is a sympathetic narrator in this well-wrought debut. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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