cover image Hunting Rabbits

Hunting Rabbits

Mark Gilleo. 2020 Press, $14.99 trade paper (342p) ISBN 978-0-9990472-6-2

At the start of this taut thriller set in Virginia from Gilleo (Out Tupelo), an attempted robbery of a Walgreens is thwarted by a bystander who managed to disarm the robber, who escaped. When the Glock the robber abandoned is tested for fingerprints, the police are stunned that it matches a print from an unsolved series of murders. During a six-month period in the 1970s, four female students at the College of William & Mary were killed near Lake Matoaka. Despite a massive investigation, the murderer was never caught. The only evidence as to his identity was a bloody fingerprint lifted from a Walkman belonging to the final victim, Heather Gates, who was stabbed 11 times. Heather happens to have been the younger sister of Charlie Gates, now the Williamsburg, Va., police chief, who grasps at the chance of belated justice. The case takes an odd turn when the robber is found and proves to be much too young to have been the Matoaka murderer. Gilleo is especially good at imbuing his leads with psychological depth. Peter Colt fans will appreciate the combination of suspenseful plot twists and thoughtful characterizations. (Self-published)