cover image At Rope’s End: A Dr. James Verraday Mystery

At Rope’s End: A Dr. James Verraday Mystery

Edward Kay. Crooked Lane, $25.99 (304) ISBN 978-1-68331-000-6

Screenwriter Kay’s intriguing mystery debut blends academia and law enforcement in what looks to be a promising marriage made in the name of crime. Det. Constance Maclean of the Seattle PD is convinced that the murder of a beautiful young woman, whose body was fished out of a cranberry bog, is the work of a serial killer. Clues are hard to come by, and because she’s bucking a senior officer who doesn’t put any stock in her hunches, Maclean decides to circumvent department policy. Turning to forensic psychologist James Verraday, a university professor, as a consultant is a definite breach of protocol, but it sets the stage for an enduring partnership. Both characters are single. Both have complicated pasts and even more complicated presents, and both share similar political ideologies, though Verraday is more liberal. Aside from rather lengthy passages expounding on topics such as criminal profiling and bipolarism, Kay spins a good whodunit with a juicy bonus twist at the end. (Jan.)