The Last Commandment: An Austin Grant of Scotland Yard Novel

Scott Shepherd. Mysterious, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-61316-228-6
Shepherd (Descending Son) makes his mystery debut with a disappointing series launch in which Scotland Yard’s Cmdr. Austin Grant, who’s on the verge of retirement, investigates three related murders. The victims—an Oxford professor, a sculptor, and a former rock star—are linked only by their killer’s m.o.; each was garroted before a knife was used to mark their foreheads. For the academic, the murderer left one vertical slash, adding one more for each additional victim. Grant’s brother, a colleague of the professor, notes that the musician’s band was named the Blasphemers, and theorizes that the mutilations are connected to the 10 Commandments. The Commandment Killer later strikes in New York City, impaling a priest on a cross in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. That development sends Grant overseas, where he teams with the NYPD and reunites with his estranged daughter. The predictable plot builds to an unsurprising reveal. Clichéd prose (“Rachel realized she didn’t have to go all the way down to Palisades Park to know that she was falling in love”) is also a negative. Few genre fans will look forward to the sequel. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/16/2021
Release date: 07/13/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-61316-310-8
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