A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, October 30, 2014


An Intimate Murder

by Stacy Verdick Case



A Catherine O'Brien Mystery.

When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O'Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn't the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?



Way to go, O’Brien.” Bob Shackelford leaned over my shoulder and tapped the newspaper. “Front page. I think that’s a first for you. Usually your tirades are limited to interoffice email. You’re really stepping up in the world.”

Thanks, Shackelford. Say, you oughta have that growth looked at.”

What growth.”

I pointed to his head. “Oh, never mind, it’s your face.”

Haw, haw, O’Brien. Very childish”

He was right but it was the best I could manage on limited coffee.

He lifted the paper from my desk and unfolded it in mid-air. “At least the story appears on the bottom half of the front page. Hardly anyone looks at the bottom half.”

The headline read, Saint Paul Police Defensive Over Botched Investigation. Under the headline was a photo of me in front of Pam Hind’s house. The photographer had snapped the photo while I was speaking. My lips curled back from my teeth and I was pointing into the crowd. I looked like KC when he sees the neighbor’s cat on our porch.

Shackelford tweaked the edge of the paper. “It took me a whole ten seconds to skim down far enough to see this article.”

I snatched the paper from his hands and began to read.

Officer Catherine O’Brien, a seven-year veteran of the Saint Paul Police Department, gave an impromptu press conference outside the house of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Luther who were murdered inside their Saint Paul area home Tuesday morning.

Officer O’Brien, stumbled drunkenly down the sidewalk, scolded the media, and referred to the press as “vultures” after attempts to question the officer about the path of the homicide investigation. This outburst is just the latest in what has become a pattern of denial and hostility by the Saint Paul Police Department and crime lab when questions regarding investigative procedures arise.


An Intimate MurderAn Intimate Murder by Stacy Verdick Case
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An Intimate Murder by Stacy Verdick Case is a 2014 Before the Falls publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this mystery, which is the 3rd in the Catherine O'Brien series. I have not read the previous installments but had no trouble starting with the 3rd book. So, this one can be read as a stand alone. However, once I got finished with the this one I became such a fan I will certainly look up the two other books in the series.

A couple is found murdered and their nineteen year old son was the only survivor. Louise and Catherine are on the perplexing case as are the media. A certain overzealous reporter out to make a name for herself has insinuated herself into the investigation, making the officer's life a living hell.
This is a standard police procedural, which I happen to love. The unfolding of an investigation by the police working slowly through the evidence is always a fascinating thing to watch. However, this one took the standard slow moving and often dark edged drama of this type of mystery and turned it completely around. I giggled all the way through this one at Catherine's remarks. Louise is the straight woman who is always trying to keep Catherine from saying the wrong thing and have a little tact. I also loved the scathing portrait of journalist and their cold blooded antics. Although, the young reporter in this one redeems herself moderately in the end and may have walked away with a little more respect for the police, she still has an edge that will make the reader want to thump her.
This mystery focuses on the darker side of humanity and graphic violence is not in forefront. The chemistry between Louise and Catherine on the job is wonderful. Louise knows just what to do to keep Catherine from getting herself in hot water, but still has her hands full. Catherine's long suffering and super patient husband also plays a big part in keeping the peace on the family side of things. I read this book in one sitting and then wished I had another one in the series to read. I know, I know, five stars for big literary works but hey, I really, really liked this book so I'm giving it the rating I think it deserves – 5 stars!!



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.

Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.

An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.

Visit Stacy on the web:

Twitter: @SVerdickCase

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  1. Wow! Thank you so much for the review. I'm so glad you liked the book! Thank you for letting me and Catherine spend some time with you!

  2. What a great review. This must be a great story.

  3. Thanks MomJane and Rita! I'm so glad you two dropped by today!


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