It’s a Mystery: The Night Caller, by John Lutz

3.0 out of 5 stars The Distraught Dad

Former NYC cop Coop, recovering from cancer treatments and a bitter divorce, is struck yet another terrible blow when his daughter is brutally murdered. There’s something ritualistic about her death, and Coop can’t ignore all his training, all his instincts, and allow the police to handle the investigation. It’s not long before he meets an eccentric true crime writer, Deni, who believes there’s a serial killer skulking around. Soon she convinces Coop, but the authorities aren’t buying the theory.

Naturally, there is a serial killer, and the remainder of this plot should come as no surprise. There’s lots of talk, a new love interest, and the dogged pursuit of evidence, which is sparse. The climax is predictable as well, but what breathes life into this thriller is the appeal of this detective (labelled by the newspapers The Distraught Dad) and the sporadic, cat-and-mouse-style of suspense. I never knew you could murder someone with a can opener!

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