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By: Lisa Gardner
Series: Quincy & Rainie, #6.5
Publication Date: 12/27/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
The "queen" of crime thrillers, Lisa Gardner returns following Find Her(2016) with a tantalizing mystery suspense short story, with an un·be·liev·a·ble killer twist:
THE 4TH MAN (Quincy & Rainie #6.5) with a preview of the upcoming highly anticipated Right Behind You, which will leave you salivating, and rushing to pre-order.
Boston Homicide Detective DD Warren has inherited a cold case and FBI Profiler, Pierce Quincy and his partner wife, Rainie Connor, have flown in from Oregon to assist with the case. (love this duo)!
A ten-year-old case of a young woman murdered at the university library, in the stairwell. Manual strangulation. No signs of struggle, no evidence of sexual assault. Non-violence. Not a single print, hair, thread, speck of dirt,or swab of DNA to be recovered.
The only detail out of place; she’d been missing her shoes. A pair of dirty white Keds, which per her family, she purchased the year before for less than twenty bucks. They were never recovered from the crime scene.
There was a guard on duty for the evening, plus one for the graveyard shift. The students used an electronic access system to enter the library. However, the students could also bring guests with them. These were to be manually logged in by the guard under the student’s ID.
Over the course of the years, they did not have these guest’s names and the original investigators had dropped the ball. From a list of over sixty possible murder suspects, with ten years to run and hide, the person could be clever or cold. Rainie and Quincy’s job was to push buttons of the prime suspects. (They remind me of The Mentalist ), one of my favorites. Observant. Intuitive. Sharp.
The beautiful honor student, Jaylin Banks had whispered conversations and phone calls, as well as canceled meetings leading up to the night of her murder. A smart girl dating a bad boy. Sweet and introverted.
Suspect #1: James Duchovny, the boyfriend at the time. Binge drinking, a bully, hoodlum, explosive temper, violence and a rap sheet. He had been 22 yrs. Of age at the time of the murder. A jealous rage?
Suspect #2: Dennis Ringham, early thirties; one of the two security guards working on the night in question- the university’s rent-a-cop. Someone who wanted a uniform but couldn’t have one.
Suspect #3: Laurel Santana, a professional security guard, working the graveyard shift. Married with a baby. The wild card. He had been the one to find the body. He came on at 11:50 pm.
There had also been a mysterious older female visitor. A secret meeting? Who was The 4th Man? Did someone come back or stay behind?
James and Jaylin were supposed to meet at the library and go out afterward. Her paper was not finished. He had told the security guard she was on the second floor and to keep an eye out for her. She said she needed an extra hour and would meet him at the bar.
Did he return to the library later? Whoever killed her had to be someone already inside the library. Someone with access to the library.
A student, a guest, or a security guard? A 4th Man. Motive? Obsession?
A classic closed-room murder, based on a true story—Lisa Gardner once again delivers an intriguing crime thriller with characters’ reader's love. The investigators prevailed, identifying the perp and finding justice in a case where the truth truly is stranger than fiction.
As always, Gardner has the perfect combo and all the essentials: Setting, a perpetrator, an alibi, a suspect, a victim, a puzzle, evidence, a motive, a detective or sleuth, a clue, a plot, and a finally, a breakthrough.
Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter always deliver the best novellas!
A killer teaser, with a bonus preview of more "real-life inspired "suspense,Right Behind You, where we continue with an unstoppable team; Quincy and Rainie as they take on a spree killer with the help of their foster daughter and an expert in fugitive tracking.
The novella is worth the read to get the preview of the real deal. Trust me, it is extraordinary. Was fortunate to have received an early reading copy (1/31/17) - Right Behind You (review forthcoming) is one of Gardner’s best yet! Jaw-dropping, spine-tingling . .
“Had a family once. Father. Mother. Sister. Lived in our very own double-wide.” . . . .
A special thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.