Out for Blood: A John Jordan Mystery Thriller

Michael Lister. Pulpwood, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-947606-75-3

Lister’s sterling 27th novel featuring empathic chaplain-turned–sheriff’s investigator John Jordan (after 2021’s Beneath a Blood-Red Sky) finds Jordan nearing a turning point in his career. His longtime boss, Gulf County, Fla., sheriff Reggie Summers, a close friend, has lost a reelection bid and has just weeks to go in her tenure—and Jordan’s not a fan of her successor. Meanwhile, he’s thrust into a high-profile case. An officer who heads the sheriff’s Administration Division reports that his niece, Ava Branch, and another teenager, Olivia Colvin, have disappeared after playing hooky from school. The search for Ava and Olivia ends with the discovery of their bloodied, unconscious bodies posed by their assailant in a nearby swamp. With the victims’ chances for survival low and evidence scant, Jordan, Summers, and their colleagues frantically try to identify two men spotted near the scene of the crime on the day the girls disappeared. The inquiry takes multiple surprising and violent turns, including one that will shock series fans. The final reveals are brilliantly conceived and executed. This impressive blend of procedural and fair-play whodunit should win Lister new fans. (July)
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