Monday, January 2, 2017

Impressive Debut Police Procedural Set In Portland Maine

AMONG THE SHADOWS (Detective Byron #1)
Bruce Robert Coffin
Witness Impulse
September 13, 2016

Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I have a particular interest in books set in Maine. Among the Shadows is a very impressive debut from Bruce Robert Coffin. a retired Portland police detective with 30 years of experience on the streets of Portland, as well as anti-terrorism work with the FBI after 9/11. All that experience shows to good effect in his first novel.

Detective John Byron, a second-generation cop, has all the problems associated with police work. He is working towards a full blown case of alcoholism, his 20-year marriage is in shambles and he has no respect for his politically minded superiors. When he is called to the scene of an unattended death he finds that it is a retired Portland policeman in hospice care. The autopsy shows that the victim was suffocated and the logical conclusion is that it was a mercy killing. Byron and his team zero in on the nurses in attendance. But when other retired cops are murdered in quick succession it's clear that there is a serial killer at work. All the cops were part of the same SWAT team in the 1980's, along with Byron's deceased father. The bodies continue to pile up and Byron is in a race to stop the killer, in spite of roadblocks set by his superiors.

The writing and plotting in Among the Shadows are top-notch. The dialogue and descriptions of police procedures all ring true: as well as the characterizations. It is clear that Coffin has been honing his craft for a long time. I look forward to the next Detective Byron novel and highly recommend Among the Shadows to fans of police procedurals.

RATING 4.5 Stars

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