VJ Books Blog

Inmate 1577 by Alan JacobsonIn Jacobson’s complex fourth novel featuring FBI profiler Karen Vail (after Velocity), San Francisco Police Inspector Lance Burden turns to the D.C.-based Vail for help in solving the murder of 82-year-old Maureen Anderson, who was tortured and brutalized at her house in the city’s Marina district. Anderson’s husband, William, is later found dead, tied to the base of a column in the Palace of Fine Arts. Other similar murders rapidly follow. Insp. Robert Friedberg, reporter Clay Allman, and Roxxann Dixon, “an investigator with the Napa County District Attorney’s office,” lend assistance as Vail becomes increasingly frustrated by the rising body count and the killer’s taunts. Alternating chapters detail the bad luck tale of prison inmate Walton MacNally, from the murder of his wife in 1955 to his career as a thief and armed robber. That the two cases merge will come as no surprise, but Jacobson manages to tantalize with each segment and pull off a stunning surprise ending. (July)

Publishers Weekly