The book-a-week challenge continues with The 9th Hour (A Detective Temeke Crime Series Book 1) by Claire Stibbe.
Albuquerque cops thought they had seen it all, but there was nothing like their serial killer aiming for teen girls. And the cops at the Northwest Area Command had seen nothing like Detective David Temeke. British, Ethiopian descent, Temeke immigrated to the U.S. to escape cold, wet England. Bald, muscular, handsome, skin darker than tar, Temeke is all business. Problems with colleagues at Homicide sent him to Northwest. It went unsaid that seven dead teen girls was also part of the reason why.
So begins Claire Stibbe’s The 9th Hour. It is a police procedural par excellence, a serial killer tale quite gruesome in detail but thoroughly compelling. If it wasn’t so well written, so captivatingly smart and imaginative, it could have been a bloody mess. It’s not. Stibbe’s sentences have a life of their own. Attention to detail is what makes a novelist a cut above, and makes or breaks a good crime story. It is the details, after all, that lead to the story’s conclusion, especially in a deadly cat-and-mouse, serial killer vs. police game. Stibbe’s attention to detail jumps off the pages. The 9th Hour has fine writing, intriguing characters, a clever criminal, and a detective who misses very little. It’s a winning combination.
Readers will discover that Temeke is up to the challenge, and is pleased that his new partner, Malin Santiago, is too. Neither are perfect, and from their imperfection comes the trust they need to work together to catch a demented killer. What Stibbe has created is a genuine, believable crime-fighting partnership.
And this is a serial killer worthy of the name. Stibbe’s unwinding of the twisted reasons for killing adds layer upon layer of intrigue. The 9th Hour has a relentless pace, excellent plot twists, no wasted scenes, and two compelling characters in Temeke and Santiago — and Albuquerque as the novel’s setting is a character unto itself, and adds a bit of luster. Buy this book. Read it. Then read it again. The second helping will taste better. And then you’ll want to read more Detective Temeke crime novels. Believe me.
The 9th Hour (A Detective Temeke Crime Series Book 1) by Claire Stibbe.
5 stars out of 5.