cover image Blood Money

Blood Money

Rochelle Krich / Author William Morrow & Company $23 (341p) IS

LAPD detective Jessica Drake isn't your usual cop. She's compassionate and sympathetic toward others, and in her third, compelling appearance (after Angel of Death, 1994), she uses a canny sixth sense and relentless investigatory drive to bring her latest case to an astonishing conclusion. The body of an elderly man has been found on a golf course, a vial of digitalis in his pocket. Did he die of a heart attack or was he murdered? Although pressed by other, high-profile crimes that need solving and not encouraged by a cost-conscious boss, after noticing concentration camp numbers on the victim's arm, Jessica painstakingly establishes his identity and retraces his steps over the past several days. By questioning several edgy and cautious managers of retirement and convalescent homes, she pieces together a horrifying scenario: someone is murdering Holocaust survivors. Worse, the Steele Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by a Holocaust survivor and dedicated to helping survivors reclaim their assets, seems to be implicated. Is the foundation keeping some Swiss bank accounts for itself? Is the fabulous Steele art collection composed of stolen works? This is a richly textured, gripping and, at times, deeply moving novel, enhanced by Jessica's confrontation with her recently discovered Jewish identity. Admirers of mystery at its most provocative will thank the author for this book--and for bringing back one of the more intriguing detectives in the field. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (Jan.)