by Ron Franscell
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime Fiction
Retired from a big-city homicide beat to a small Colorado mountain town, ex-detective Woodrow “Mountain” Bell yearns only to fade away. He’s failed in so many ways as a father, a husband, friend, and cop that it might be too late for a meaningful life. When he stumbles across a long-forgotten, unsolved child murder, his first impulse is to let it lie … but he can’t. He’s drawn into the macabre mystery when he realizes the killer might still be near. Without help from ambivalent local cops, Bell must overcome the obstacles of time, age, and a lack of police resources by calling upon the unique skills of the end-of-the-road codgers he meets for coffee every morning—a club of old guys who call themselves Deaf Row. Soon, this mottled crew finds itself on a collision course with a serial butcher.
|DEAF ROW is more than a tense mystery novel, more than an unnerving psychological thriller drawn from Ron Franscell’s career as a bestselling true-crime writer and journalist. It is also a novel of men pushing back against time and death, trying not to disappear entirely. DEAF ROW is a moving, occasionally humorous, portrait of flawed people caught in a web of pain and regret. And although you might think you know where this ghastly case is headed, the climax will blindside you.
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Deaf Row is a mystery about Woodrow Bell, a retired detective trying to release his conscience of an old case involving the death of a little girl. It is always one case that you can’t forget until you see it to the end.
In a small Colorado town, bell comes across a cold case involving the death of a teenage girl, Cherish Nelson. It takes some convincing but Bell decides to look into the case accompanied by Father Bert. He is wanting to give the father of the girl some closure and justice. He tries to get help from an old partner along with some friends in a group called Deaf Row.
The book starts off slow with a lot of info dumping to set the scenes to come. As Bell delves into the case the book starts to pick up and gets a little better. You learn more about the men in Deaf Row, which was interesting. As Bell continues to investigate and pick up more clues you also learn more about him. Jasmine Jackson, Bell’s ex-partner was sassy and tells it like it is with him, which I liked.
I like that the story is set in a small town because those are great places for mysteries. It did take me awhile to connect with the characters and to invest in the plot. I’m glad I stuck with the story. The story did have suspense and the reveal was unsuspected. When I found out who was behind everything I realized I had the wrong person, which is always fun. If you like crime fiction you will like this mystery.
A veteran journalist, Ron Franscell is the New York Times bestselling author of 18 books, including international bestsellers “The Darkest Night” and Edgar-nominated true crime “Morgue: A Life in Death.” His newest, “ShadowMan: An Elusive Psycho Killer and the Birth of FBI Profiling,” was released in March by Berkley/Penguin-Random House.
His atmospheric and muscular writing—hailed by Ann Rule, Vincent Bugliosi, William Least-Heat Moon, and others—has established him as one of the most provocative American voices in narrative nonfiction.
Ron’s first book, “Angel Fire,” was a USA Today bestselling literary novel listed by the San Francisco Chronicle among the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century West. His later success grew from blending techniques of fiction-writing with his daily journalism. The result was dramatic, detailed, and utterly true storytelling.
Ron has established himself as a plucky reporter, too. As a senior writer at the Denver Post, he covered the evolution of the American West but shortly after 9/11, he was dispatched by the Post to cover the Middle East during the first months of the War on Terror. In 2004, he covered devastating Hurricane Rita from inside the storm.
His book reviews and essays have been widely published in many of America’s biggest and best newspapers, such as the Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury-News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and others. He has been a guest on CNN, Fox News, NPR, the Today Show, ABC News, and he appears regularly on crime documentaries at Investigation Discovery, Oxygen, History Channel, Reelz, and A&E.
He lives in northern New Mexico.
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