cover image The Sacrifice of Lester Yates

The Sacrifice of Lester Yates

Robin Yocum. Arcade CrimeWise, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-951627-53-9

Yocum’s so-so sequel to 2011’s Favorite Sons finds Hutchinson Van Buren, Ohio’s attorney general, on the verge of a monumental career move. With Ohio governor Big Jim Wilinski about to announce his candidacy for president—and with his promise to make Van Buren the U.S. attorney general if he’s elected—the principled Van Buren is faced with a moral dilemma. With a convicted murderer, Lester Yates, presumed to be the infamous serial killer nicknamed the Egypt Valley Strangler, just weeks away from being executed, Van Buren has reason to believe that Yates is innocent and someone close to the governor may be involved with one or more of the Egypt Valley Strangler murders. Does he let an innocent man die, or jeopardize his career aspirations by potentially derailing Wilinski’s campaign? While the writing is strong—especially the stark Rust Belt atmospherics—Van Buren is flat and lacks emotional depth. Coupled with a story line that at points strains the boundaries of believability, this political thriller is as forgettable as the main character. Yocum has done better. Agent: Colleen Mohyde, Colleen Mohyde Agency. (Apr.)