Evidence of Blood

Thomas H. Cook
Bantam, 1998. 384pp
ISBN: 0-553-57836-7

review by Harriet Klausner

He is a chronicler of the perversities one human being inflicts on another. He scribes the innermost darkest secrets of the deranged to the reading public who thirsts for every morsel he publishes. He has interviewed some of the leading deviants of the century without any of them touching his soul. Safely, from a distance, Jackson Kinley writes true crime stories. When his only friend Ray Tindall dies, Jackson believes that he hass no emotional ties left to anyone on the planet.

Jackson soon learns that ties of love extend from beyond the mortal plane. Returning to his home town for the funeral of his only friend, Jackson finds out Ray, a former sheriff, was looking into a murder case that was over three decades old. Charles Overton was tried, convicted, and executed for the death of a teenager whose body was never found. Ray's mistress, who is the daughter of Charles, believes her father was innocent. She turned to Ray and now Jackson to prove she is right. Jackson knows that if he is to have peace of mind, he must find out the truth about Charles and what Ray learned that was "breaking his heart".

This reprint of a 1991 release has not lost any of its emotional power or mental punch in the exceeding years. Instead, Evidence of Bloodseems to be an even more potent tour-de-force. Within the confines of this novel, the investigation of the crime is as important, if not more so, than the solutions because of the length the hermit-like protagonist is willing to go to for his deceased buddy. It is during the investigation that Jackson finally realizes that to be totally isolated makes a person into an inhuman being. This terrific tale, that delves deep into the psyche of the anti-hero, is that rare keeper among keepers.

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