Written in Blood
by Layton Green
Cover Artist: Design by Jacqueline Nasso Cooke
Review by Mel Jacob
Seventh Street Books Trade Paperback / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9781633883611
Date: 07 November 2017
Layton Green provides a treat for the dedicated mystery readers with a series of murders with a literary theme in Written in Blood. He plays fair with the readers and despite clues throughout the novel, most won't be able identify the killer. Detective Preach Everson is trying to re-establish himself as a qualified police officer and stop a murderer or will he fail again?
Joe 'Preach' Everson has seen the worst of humanity and still carries the scars. His unforgivable crime was to freeze when he encountered a pedophile's victim tied up in a tree house and inadvertently let the perp escape. He lost his job with the Atlanta Police and now has a position of detective in the small town of Creekside where he was born. However, his former friends have not forgiven him for leaving abruptly after the death of his cousin.
That tragedy from his past still haunts him. For a time, he worked as a preacher, then a prison chaplain, and finally as a police officer. He's seen both the goodness and the evil humans perpetrate on one another. When a local bookstore owner is murdered, Preach investigates aware he must solve the crime to prove his abilities.
The case soon evolves into much more than a simple homicide as more murders ensue. Along the way, he makes friends with a law student proficient in literature and her insights into the authors and works help focus his investigation. Both soon become the targets of the local drug lord.
Politics enters the investigation when the mayor seeks to have him fired. However, the police chief backs him. He and his partner, a young colored man, struggle with the clues. Preach suspects a conspiracy that may have roots back in his senior year in high school.
Green gets inside his characters and uses their strengths and weaknesses to full effect. He also acknowledges a debt to Agatha Christie. He has three other fiction series: Dominic Grey (Diplomatic and cult investigations), the Blackwood Saga (magic and alternate worlds), as well as several single title novels.