Elizabeth Gunn brings back Jake Hines, Chief of Detectives in Rutherford, Minnesota, in McCafferty's Nine. It's a welcome return for those of us who have been waiting to see what's happening in Jake's life.
Gunn does an outstanding job combining Jake's personal life with a police procedural set in a medium-sized community. During the course of this seven book series, readers have grown to know Jake, and the police force that work with him. Now, while Jake anxiously awaits the birth of his first child, he also deals with two odd cases confounding the police. One series of crimes involves an odd cluster of assaults, women who have been mugged by a runner the police have dubbed "The Sprinter." Ray Bailey, head of the Peoples Crime section fears the runner is getting more violent. The other group of crimes involves an entire neighborhood that seems to have bogus charges on their credit cards. Although it's not usually a problem the police deal with, Jake gives the Property Crimes division a little leeway to work the case. Everything grows more complicated the night a police sting coincides with a murder.
And, Jake? He works hard to juggle the cases under his jurisdiction. At the same time, he's haunted by a warning dream of a wolf, one that always portends trouble in his life. He can't lose focus at work, although he worries about the forthcoming birth.
McCafferty's Nine succeeds in the best tradition of a police procedural. It allows the reader to follow a police investigation, while peering inside the personal lives of the police, particularly Jake Hines.
Elizabeth Gunn's website is www.elizabethgunn.com
McCafferty's Nine by Elizabeth Gunn. Severn House, ©2007, ISBN 978-0-7278-6514-4 (hardcover), 216p.