Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Every Kind of Wicked

Every Kind of Wicked by Lisa Black
Kensington: 8/25/20
review copy; 320 pages
Gardiner and Renner Series #6

Every Kind of Wicked by Lisa Black is a very highly recommended procedural and 6th in the Gardiner and Renner Series.

Forensics expert Maggie Gardiner and Cleveland homicide detective Jack Renner with his partner Thomas Riley are investigating the murder of a young man found dead in the Erie Street Cemetery. What was at first assumed to be a single gunshot, isn't, which makes the homicide odd and the weapon used unique. The only clue on the body is a key card to an apartment at the local university’s student housing. The victim is identified as Evan Harding and while at his apartment, Evan's girlfriend, Shanaya Thomas shows up. Shanaya lies about Evan work place, A to Z Check Cashing, and seems to be evasive and withholding information.  

At the same time Maggie's detective ex-husband, Rick, is at another murder scene that appears to be an obvious overdose. The deceased is identified as Marlon Toner, but when they talk to his sister Jennifer at the address on his ID, it seems that the man is not Marlon Toner. But Jennifer has her own concerns and has been trying to investigate the doctor who has been prescribing her brother so many opioids. Suddenly it is clear that the investigations are interconnected and the case is more complicated than originally thought.

The solid plot is compelling and fast moving. The complicated investigation takes several unexpected turns and it is a pleasure to follow along as the clues are presented and leads followed. The operation/scheme that the investigation leads to is a timely subject matter and for some a personal experience that will have readers everywhere cheering on the detectives (and perhaps hoping for a permanent, violent resolution). There is also a personal investigation Rick is undertaking that started in previous books in the series. This concerns Maggie while Jack is claiming it will be a non-issue.

This is a great series and it is a pleasure to be back in the world of these well-known and well-developed characters. I was so happy to open Every Kind of Wicked and experience another investigation with Gardiner and Renner.  Longtime fans know the players here and their backstories, which does add a depth and richness to the story, but you could easily read this novel as a standalone. Any references to past events are explained enough that you won't feel lost.

I enjoyed this procedural and being back in the world of these characters so much, it was a pleasure to read Every Kind of Wicked.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Kensington.

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