Mr. Glamour

Richard Godwin. Black Jackal (www.blackjackalbooks.com), $10.95 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-9567113-3-5
If The Silence of the Lambs had never been written, Godwin's tawdry and vicious modern-day thriller might find more purchase, but there's very little that's new or memorable here. Godwin pits two Scotland Yarders, Detective Chief Inspector Jackson Flare and Inspector Mandy Steele, against a brutal killer who, after slaughtering his victims, removes a physical trophy for some unknown purpose. The pair pursues a business angle as a potential motive for the crimes, even as they discover that some of the mutilations may be an effort to brand the dead with the insignia of various fashion houses. Though the investigating officers have their own secrets, they ultimately come across as caricatures. Godwin (Apostle Rising) does a terrible job of planting red herrings, the prose is often awkward (e.g., "He turned his head, his neck ejaculating onto the wall"), and the windup is every bit as unsatisfying as what led up to it. Fans of cops vs. serial killers have plenty of better alternatives to choose from. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
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