MYSTERY

The Hook

Severn House. (Raymond Donne, Bk. 5). Mar. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780727889188. $28.99. M
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Maurice Joseph, aka MoJo, is fatally shot with a bow and arrow on the roof of the school where he tends hydroponic plants. Raymond Donne, a former policeman and the dean sponsoring MoJo, a recovering addict, discovers the body and immediately calls police detective Royce, with whom he worked in the past. There are traces of heroin laced with fentanyl in MoJo’s blood, yet his wife, Lisa, insists he was clean. Among MoJo’s possessions, they discover high-tech surveillance equipment, including videos of a white supremacist group for whom MoJo was apparently doing security work as well as videos of executives of the rehab center MoJo attended. A wide-ranging investigation ensues. With several additional deaths—and the kidnapping of Donne’s reporter girlfriend, Allison—the tension remains high throughout this fifth in O’Mara’s series (after Nasty Cutter).
VERDICT The dynamic among Royce, Donne, and Allison is reminiscent of Spenser, Hawk, and Susan Silverman from Robert B. Parker’s “Spenser” novels. Fans of Parker and Ace Atkins will appreciate the smartly paced action the surprising denouement.

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