Chicago detective Joe Erickson returns to the force following medical leave, and right away a high-profile murder falls in his lap. The body of a graduate student, the son of a prominent Jewish attorney, washes up on the shore of Lake Michigan with a swastika cut into his back. The hate-crime investigation leads Joe and his partner to suspect neo-Nazis, and as he digs deeper into the young man’s death, he uncovers a conspiracy that nearly gets him killed.
The last thing homicide detective Joe Erickson needs is to get involved in a murder investigation. On medical leave from Chicago PD after developing acute stress disorder, he has returned to his hometown in Iowa to settle his father’s estate. But when he learns two teenage girls in neighboring towns have been abducted, murdered, and found posed nude along a riverbank, he takes notice. And when his former lover and criminal profiler is brought in to consult, she talks him into joining the investigation. Joe throws himself headlong into a case that will test his mental stamina. But when another girl is abducted, his keen investigative skills kick into high gear as he races against time to find her before she becomes the killer’s third victim.
Winner of the 2021 Independent Press Distinguished Favorite Award
In this prequel to Rose’s Thorn, Detective Joe Erickson discovers a clever and vile serial killer preying on women in Chicago. Only a few cat hairs provide clues to the perpetrator of six mutilation murders. Joe’s razor-sharp intuition and unorthodox methods ultimately lead him on a trail fraught with twists, turns, and close calls. But pushing himself day and night begins taking its toll, and his obsession with apprehending the killer will be his undoing.
Winner of the 2021 Royal Dragonfly Award for Mysteries