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Mark Gilleo
Hunting Rabbits
Mark Gilleo, author
Chief of police, Charlie Gates, is haunted by his sister’s decades-old unsolved murder. A native son of the small city of Williamsburg, Virginia, Gates has spent his entire adult life in pursuit of justice for his only sibling. When fingerprint evidence from a recent robbery is linked to the cold case, Gates taps a seasoned homicide detective, Luis Millares, to assist with the investigation. Given the personal nature of the case, Millares knows failure is not an option. When the investigation takes a surprise turn and a new string of murders erupts, Gates and Millares realize they’ve stumbled upon a conspiracy where nothing is as it seems. Taunted by their suspect, the law enforcement duo races to piece together the clues from a number of unlikely sources including an elderly mechanic, a computer science professor, a pot farmer, a yoga mom, and a high school delinquent. Peeling back the layers of the case, Gates and Millares inch closer to the truth . . . a truth that may cost them, and innocent others, their lives.
Gilleo’s propulsive, cat-and-mouse mystery finds local-boy-turned-Williamsburg-police-chief Charlie Gates and his detective, Miami import Luis “Quags” Millares, chasing after a serial killer deliberately being shielded from their reach. The case is personal for Gates; his sister Heather was one of the victims as a college student back in the eighties. Paired with Quags, a former big city detective with the skills and bullet wounds to prove it, the two are a formidable pair. When a local armed robbery produces a print from a good Samaritan that matches one found on Heather’s Walkman, Charlie thinks he finally has an opportunity to put old ghosts to rest. But the two men find during their initial investigation that their killer is likely from the CIA’s Camp Peary, aka The Farm, nearby, and the agency holds its cards–and its employees–close to the vest.

Gilleo (Terminal Secret) writes a fast-paced story that’s easy to get into, and serves as a stark reminder of the power of government in protecting its own. Mystery and procedural lovers will enjoy the convincing (and sometimes chilling) details about CIA tactics for misdirection, and also the ingenuity of the protagonists as they strive to hold the killer accountable. Using their skills and connections to The Farm, Quags and Gates begin to make inroads and find someone they think is a match. Are they being played by the ultimate players in a game of obfuscation, or have they found their killer? The two will have to work quickly, because women are starting to turn up dead again.

Crisp, engaging interplay between these sharply drawn leads powers the book, and Gilleo maintains the tension and these mysteries, making the case complex enough to keep readers guessing–and making the unveiling of the clues and twists feel satisfying. The focus is on the case and the cast, not violence, making this a great read for any lover of thoughtful yet urgent mysteries.

Takeaway: A Virginia police chief and a detective face off against the CIA to catch a killer in this potent mystery.

Great for fans of: David Baldacci’s Memory Man, Joanna Schaffhausen’s Gone for Good .

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A