COLD CASE by Stephen White - SIGNED FIRST EDITION BOOKSee all titles by Stephen White.
In this, the eighth Alan Gregory thriller, the Colorado-based
clinical psychologist and his wife, Boulder Assistant District Attorney
Lauren Crowder, are asked to assist a private organization known as
Locard. Comprised of former and current prosecutors, federal law
enforcement agents, and forensic specialists, the group (named after
the legendary 19th-century French detective Edmond Locard) specializes
in providing assistance to local police in solving "cold cases," i. e.,
unsolved cases that have been open for an especially long time.
In this instance, Locard is investigating the murder of
teenagers Tamara Franklin and Mariko Hamamoto, two close friends who
disappeared from their homes in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, one cold
November evening in 1988. The girls' bodies were discovered a few
months later when the springtime thaw melted the snowbank in which
their killer had hidden their corpses. Because the bodies had been
mutilated, local police sought an opportunistic killer, either
a serial killer or a drifter, an approach that proved unsuccessful.
Asked to perform a "psychological autopsy," Gregory conducts
interviews with several people connected to the case, including the
girls' parents, siblings, and friends. His inquiries also bring him
into contact with Mariko's psychologist, Dr. Raymond Welle. Welle has
also known tragedy: Four years after the girls' disappearance, Welle's
wife Gloria was apparently murdered by another of his patients, the
severely depressed Brian Sample. The crime drew national headlines and
propelled Welle into the public eye, first gaining him a syndicated
talk show, then a Senate seat. Suspecting that Welle knows more about
the case than he lets on, Gregory doggedly pursues the Senator.
Gregory's odyssey into the past affects him in varying ways. Of
course, there's the thrill of the hunt, the intellectual challenge, and
the satisfaction of bringing a criminal to justice. But that's not all,
as Gregory becomes involved on a very personal level. His many
interviews bring home a hard fact to the psychologist, namely that
human beings inflict great damage on each other every day. He's
reminded that murder has a ripple effect, irrevocably changing the
lives of both survivors and victims. Cold Case is an arresting, exciting piece of work, the perfect way to while away some cold winter nights.