Cold Case

Stephen Walsh White, Author Dutton Books $24.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-525-94526-0
Crime-fighting psychologist Alan Gregory untangles a vexing unsolved case of double murder in the Colorado Rockies in this rousing page-turner by thriller specialist White. Gregory is drawn into his seventh fictional adventure by a private organization of criminal experts called Locard, named after a 19th-century French detective. Locard, which reopens decades-old murder cases at the request of survivors and their families, wants Gregory to help reexamine a puzzling case in which the partially mutilated bodies of two teenage girls--Tami Franklin and Mariko Hamamoto--were found during the spring snowmelt outside Boulder. Gregory is asked to assemble psychological profiles of the girls, their parents and others close to the case in hopes of dispelling the official line that the murders were the work of a drifter. As Gregory's side of the investigation progresses, the finger of guilt seems to point directly at Colorado congressman Raymond Welle, a psychologist who was treating both girls at the time of the killings. Welle also has a shadowy connection to another notorious murder--that of his wife, who was shot to death seven years earlier by one of his patients. Gregory, along with his wife, Lauren Crowder--now pregnant and increasingly weakened by her multiple sclerosis--quickly find themselves in the awkward position of accusing one of the state's most powerful politicians of not one, but two crimes. The delicate, bookish Gregory and his enfeebled wife make for unlikely crime stoppers, yet White (Manner of Death) drives the story through agile plotting and fine characterizations to a clever, surprise ending. While his description of the Colorado landscape and humdrum details of his protagonist's daily routines do little to enhance the plot, his fans will enjoy the action and the way the series's main characters evolve in this latest entry. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
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