Kill By Numb3rs
Review: Laurel Johnson for Midwest Book Review
[T]ate’s novels always have three exceptional features: unique characters, fascinating plots, and the ideal location to complement said characters and plots. His first mystery novel is no exception. The main character, Pittsburgh detective Cain Machinovic, is a meticulous, single-minded savant when it comes to solving crimes.
Cain’s investigative techniques tend to be a little odd. He’s not very likeable, but has gained his fellow police officer’s respect. Cain’s ex-girlfriend, Gretchen Adams, describes his personal and professional persona as “half animal, half machine.” Gretchen owns a forensic lab with an intriguing sideline, her gift for criminal profiling. You’d think she and Cain would be the perfect fit, but his weird obsession with crimes and solitary suffering are too much for her to bear. Still, whenever Cain needs insight into criminal behavior, he turns to Gretchen.
Sari Palmer, a young detective assigned as Cain’s new partner, joins Cain as he encounters a case that has him stymied. At first she despises his idiosyncrasies and perceived arrogance. But she watches, learns, and is drawn to his peculiar methods. Cain thinks he’s searching for a possible serial killer with an obsessive-compulsive mania for colors and numbers. The fun and fright of this mystery chiller is watching Cain work his way through the clues, and watching the battle between Gretchen and Sari to repair the damaged soul of Cain.
If you like mystery novels, you’ll have fun with this one. It has enough red herrings and twists to keep readers hooked from beginning to end.