Review: The Front Range Butcher by R. Weir

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:


Twenty-two years ago, the slayings began, a new body nearly every month, front page news for all to read. Gruesome in nature, the victims nearly all female, the killer terrorizing the residents of Colorado’s biggest cities. Until one day the murders stopped leaving no clue, or closure. No one knew who he was, his motive for slaughtering them, and why the urge to kill suddenly ended.
Now, more than two decades later, the urge has resurfaced. Carved remains of loved ones left to be found, lives of families ruined, the slayings echoing an all too familiar case from a past once forgotten. Bold headlines return to the local papers, the police and FBI still just as helpless, even with today’s modern advancements. Has the killer resurfaced again? Why did they disappear for so long? How many more will brutally suffer the same horrendous fate?

Hired to find the serial killer, private detective Jarvis Mann digs deep, fighting FBI resistance, with life threatening danger lurking around every corner. His cunning leads to a man he must match wits with, a man the F.B.I can’t touch. Interrogating to get into his psyche in an all-out attempt to stop the insanity and bring him to justice. Cold and calculated, intelligent and coy, the man, wheelchair bound, holds the answers and the secrets. For he is the only one who could be the evil manifestation of: The Front Range Butcher.

Can Jarvis outwit such a mastermind, or has he met his match?

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My Thoughts:

The Front Range Butcher is R. Weir’s latest Jarvis Mann mystery.  As ardent fans have become accustomed to, there is never a dull moment for our man, Mann.

Each Jarvis Mann mystery can be read as a standalone novel; however, followers of the series will be delighted at Mr. Weir’s deft incorporation of and reference to characters and situations from prior books.  In fact, The Front Range Butcher is by far the most complex plot of the series as it threads together multiple new cases, some of which are influence by old cases.  Subsequently, it is also the longest book of the series.  Mr. Weir provides rich details of the various settings and of Jarvis’ complicated life and varied cases.

Jarvis’ biggest case involves a grisly serial killer who has re-emerged.   The gruesomeness of the killings rivals any contemporary psychopath (i.e., Hannibal Lector, Dexter, Mathias—a la The Snowman by Jo Nesbo). The twists and red herrings are complicated and creative.  Mr. Weir really got inside the head of his disturbed killer and that of his dysfunctional family. There are a few passages of this book that are difficult to read, as is to be expected with a serial killer mystery.  Delightfully, Jarvis Mann finally keeps the same girlfriend (yep, he tends to make stupid choices that drive good women away by the end of each book).  Jarvis may actually acknowledge that he has feelings of love for his current girlfriend, April!

The major and minor cases Jarvis tackles in this current book are each intense, and the gumshoe approaches them with his usual sense of justice and humor.  It’s a good thing Jarvis is flexible, and “roll with the punches” seems to be his life mantra.  The Front Range Butcher is a Jarvis Mann mystery that has been taken up a notch!  I continue to enjoy Mr. Weir’s writing, and the evolving Jarvis Mann.


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