Alana Woods’ book reviews: The Detective JD Welch series by John L Work

I have two reviews this week for you from the same author, JOHN L WORK.


 

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A dark obsession 2

A DARK OBSESSION TIMES 2 (a Detective JD Welch story)

The author spent 20 years in law enforcement in the US and the believability level in all of his stories and novels that encompass crime is sky high.

This novel, like most of his others, once again has as its protagonist Detective JD Welch. I’ve read all of the Welch books now and have enjoyed following his career. To me this one actually comes across as a thinly-disguised accounting of Work’s own career—although I could be wrong about that—and it makes for compelling reading. Welch is now working in the Roberts County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office Jail Division. Still a policeman, but working inside the jail investigating crimes perpetrated by inmates. Work covers a lot of ground, situations, crimes—and there are some nasty ones—locations and time periods that are all in some way connected to men who are serving time or have served time and therefore come within Welch’s ambit.

As I say, we cover a lot of ground but one crime investigation weaves its way throughout. It’s the one that opens and closes the story and every time I thought we might be in danger of wandering too far from the central theme it pops up again—a measure of Work’s weaving skill.

It is apparently a true story and it’s one that affected me.

If you want happy-ever-after endings to your books don’t look for them in Work’s novels. His are definitely reflections of the injustices and inequalities of real life. However, don’t let that put you off. Even though at times the subject matter may be hard-hitting they are well worth the read.

 

Right angle murders

THE RIGHT ANGLE MURDERS (a Detective JD Welch story)

I’m a fan of Work’s. I’ve read several of his novels and novellas now and each displays the same tight writing and attention to detail that I’ve come to expect. This one is no exception.

This is a short novella that takes us back to the beginning of JD Welch’s career as a detective. (Welch is the central character in many of Work’s novels.) He and his senior partner, Joe Bryerson, are assigned to a nasty rape case that has all the hallmarks of a murder gone wrong. Unfortunately for them they have no clues as to the perpetrator and as murder follows murder and the media intensity puts the Sheriff’s office under the unwanted spotlight the detectives feel increasingly frustrated at their lack of progress.

The story opening has a definite feeling of noire about it and the ending is shocking but I can understand the sentiment behind it. I imagine many a cop would like a nasty case to end similarly.

Work’s history in law enforcement and talent for telling this kind of tale once again delivers a believable case with believable characters.

JOHN L WORK’s Amazon page

Take this link to my interview with JOHN L WORK

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