cover image ARCH ANGELS: A Joe Keough Mystery

ARCH ANGELS: A Joe Keough Mystery

Robert J. Randisi, . . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $24.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-312-30878-0

Randisi's fifth Joe Keough thriller/mystery (after 2002's East of the Arch ) features a distinctive double plot and plenty of humanizing detail, though the disparate elements never quite form a coherent whole. Keough, now a member of the Federal Serial Killer Task Force, and partner Harriet Connors are dispatched from Washington to St. Louis and Chicago, respectively. In St. Louis, three young girls have been kidnapped and strangled; in Chicago, three young boys have been kidnapped and strangled. There are odd parallels among the murders, and the pair must determine if there is one killer or two. The author lets the reader in on the answer early (both killers appear separately), but neither detective picks up on the clues to their quirky relationship as quickly as one might expect. Still, Randisi manages to wring plenty of tension from the petty turf battles between feds and locals and the fear that another victim will die before Keough and Connors can catch the culprits. (Mar. 8)