AT WHAT COST

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight Mystery -

James L’etoile, Crooked Lane Hard­cover $25.99 (304pp), 978-1-62953-995-9

In a dark and un­re­lent­ing thriller, a father must hunt down a killer, all while try­ing to save his own sick and ail­ing son—un­til twists in the case re­veal a sin­is­ter con­nec­tion be­tween the two.

De­tec­tive John Pen­ley and his part­ner, Paula New­berry, of the Sacra­mento Po­lice De­part­ment, to­gether must lead the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into three mur­ders in six weeks. Each body is miss­ing its in­ter­nal or­gans, but, for Pen­ley, the creepi­est fac­tor of all is the per­son­al­ized mes­sage the killer left be­hind for him—a mes­sage at­tached to a hu­man kid­ney. Pen­ley, who has a son on the kid­ney-trans­plant wait­ing list, sud­denly re­al­izes the at­tack may be per­sonal—and un­less he is able to out­wit the sadis­tic and cun­ning killer, he may fall into a trap that could mean the end of his ca­reer for good.

At What Cost is a mys­tery that presents an in­trigu­ing moral dilemma at its cen­ter: De­tec­tive Pen­ley must de­cide whether to ful­fill his duty as an of­fi­cer, trust­ing that his son will one day get the kid­ney that he needs, or to con­spire, when the op­por­tu­nity presents it­self, with the very man he is try­ing to cap­ture, in or­der to get his son the oper­a­tion that could save his life. The first in this grip­ping se­ries, At What Cost finds its power in the moral ques­tions and gray ar­eas that it raises, even as it de­liv­ers un­re­lent­ing sus­pense and ac­tion. Though the fi­nal twist at the end may lead to some ad­di­tional ques­tions, At What Cost is a strong de­but mys­tery from a writer con­fi­dent in his craft.

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