Cold Case: my thoughts

Cold Case: Sleeping Dogs Lie: Rebecka Vigus


Appearances can be deceiving and situations can be created to suit the best interests of those involved. Most domestic disturbances would not warrant having two detectives on the scene. Detectives Macy McVannel and Tom Maxwell her partner were called to investigate a victimless crime. Arriving at the scene they expect to see a body but instead deal with what they later learn was a staged shouting match in order to throw the attention off of them and onto another. When they return to the station they are given a cold case to work on and little do they know that this disturbance and this case would eventually intertwine. A 16- year- old murder was closed and went cold. The mother of the murder victim wants to find out who killed her son. Meeting with Mrs. Appleton, the mother of the homicide victim they begin to put together a chain of events but there are so many missing pieces that they need to look deeper into the person they think committed the murder. Delving into the case something odd happens when the captain insists that they investigate but in secret. Worried that they might be the target of someone whose identity has yet to be revealed Tom and Macy enlist the help of Mrs. Appleton to find a place to hide and investigate her son’s murder. But, not everything goes as planned as they hunker down in her bunkhouse and hear a noise. None other than the girl that was involved with her son, Sally Mae shows up and then things begin to change. But, what they learn from her seems to clinch what they suspect and the one person that was seen with Bobby James last, a kid named Bubba appears to be the prime suspect or the murderer. Looking into the murder they realize the case seemed tainted from the start and that the case was poorly handled. The author allows Macy to relate the events in the first person narrative giving readers her thoughts; the sequence of events and an up close account of what transpires. But, the links are few, the spaces in the events wide and the evidence slim as they begin to dig deeper and what happens next alerts them to the fact that someone might be targeting them but anyone that was involved in the case from the start or that new Bobby James.


Talking with Sally Mae helps but first another murder occurs that of Mike West closely intertwined with Bobby and Sally. Thinking that he was after his girl, egged on by Bubba he finds her in a bar and fight occurs. At the end someone he winds up dead but just who shot him still remains to be revealed. Hoping to learn more about the murder both Tom and Macy go in search of Mike West and learn that he is the next victim. Found by Mrs. Appleton and made to look that suicide things just don’t add up. When they learn who the detective on the case was and find out his relationship to Bubba who at this time seems to be missing too, Macy and Tom go to this man for answers. Files that are incomplete, interviews with witnesses missing and then two more murders occur both made to look like suicides.


As more information comes to light and we learn about the relationship between Bubba the prime suspect and the cop in charge of the case we begin to understand more. The relationship is one that comes to light later on, the partner of this cop seems embroiled within this deceitful web as well but all of the pieces have yet to be placed on the murder boards that both Macy and Tom have created. Getting to know the prime suspects, learning about their pasts the author reveals pieces of information that links them together.


Sally Mae becomes you might say part of their team as they decide to keep her with them for her safety. Allowing her to become part of the investigation, ask questions and type their notes I found kind of odd and really not quite sure if in a real investigation the police would allow a civilian in protective custody to bear witness to privileged information. Macy is a strong character and Tom faces many challenges when he has to leave his wife and family and go into hiding with Macy. His wife, although having no choice, is not really thrilled about the situation.


Macy at the start of the novel allows readers to understand why she chose this small town of Rivers Edge as her home, her disconnect with any family and her desire to start over in a small town. Not really into the social life, losing her fiancé in the line of duty, Macy is basically a loner and devotes her time and energy into solving her cases. Tom, a family man devoted to the same, has a strong work ethic, solid and analytical mind and seems to blend well with Macy.

When the investigation heats up and Bubba is now part of their team Sally Mae learns the real reason why they are protecting her and the hidden truth behind what they think happened. Deceit, lies, murder and betrayals are all part of the clever scheme of the murderer to make things appear one way in order to create an illusion for others. Trust is not always what it is cracked up to be and all too often the naïve and innocent pay. A wild kid with a hot head and a young girl just trying to live some kind of live what will the end result be and just what was the link between the cop on the case and another man?


Sharing their thoughts with Bubba and Sally Mae was definitely a unique way to handle the investigation. Explaining to both that Mike was planning to take Sally Mae away and marry her made him a prime target for the killer. Opening the case brought the spotlight on Macy and Tom because someone did not want the real murderer found. Relating the events to Mrs. Appleton did not bring the unusual response that most would give. Hoping to learn more and find out who killed her son the author relates through this mother the many unanswered questions most would have. Facing the man she thought murdered her son quite compelling. Then, the one man who was helping them is made a target and things become more unsettled. More truths unfold, a four- year old secret is revealed, the hidden dealings of two officers and a blackmail scheme that might have cost one his life as Macy and Tom being to unravel more than just these murders.


As they try to piece together the notes of the second murder victim they realize the reason he cooperated. But, honesty is supposed to cleanse the soul but not in this case. Why you just won’t believe. When the killer is caught and the evidence seems solid he’s confronted by the police and also by JJ or Bubba, which I found kind of out of character for a police investigation.  Added in the fact that the author allows one of the characters, not an officer to confront the killer and they go as far as to explain themselves to him seems a little out of place.


An ending that is quite interesting and a final outcome that you won’t expect with a killer who is relentless and whose actions cause Macy to fight for her life. But, sometimes out of something bad something good just might happen but that you will have to learn for yourself as will Macy. The case is finally solved, the many players are intertwined and the end result leaves you wondering what is next for Macy as the author entices readers with the first chapter of Crossing the Line to let us know that Macy and Tom will be back on the job real soon. Just what happens to Sally Mae, Mrs. Appleton and Bubba you have to find out for yourself. The mystery is well crafted the end result filled with twists and turns and the characters seem to blend together. When one killer wants Sleeping Dogs to Lie two cops decide to make sure they never do.


Fran Lewis: reviewer : this book gets four stars








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