cover image Life for a Life: A DCI Gilchrist Investigation

Life for a Life: A DCI Gilchrist Investigation

T. Frank Muir. Academy Chicago, $14.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-61373-324-0

In Muir’s effective but gory fourth police procedural starring Det. Chief Insp. Andy Gilchrist (after 2013’s Tooth for a Tooth), the discovery of the frozen body of an escaped sex slave on the east coast of Scotland alerts methodical Gilchrist and his detectives to the presence of an especially ruthless human trafficker. Gilchrist is initially startled by the display of deadly brutality, but his new partner, Det. Sgt. Jessie Janes, a quick-witted and sharp-tongued young woman, recognizes the MO of the elusive Kumar, who enjoys butchering his foes and even beheaded an undercover cop in front of a video camera. As parts of his operation are compromised, Kumar lops off unnecessary underlings and intrusive police—until Gilchrist himself winds up at the man’s mercy. Watching Gilchrist try to manage the emotional dynamics of his high-strung team is fascinating, but it’s even more interesting to watch the detective’s old-fashioned pluck confront the barely disguised primitive bloodlust of his quarry. (Sept.)