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Murder Knows No Boundaries
George Encizo. Gatekeeper, $15.99 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-642377-85-9
At the start of Encizo’s taut third mystery featuring Florida sheriff J.D. Pickens (after 2019’s Murder on Grange Road), one of Pickens’s newest deputies, Jason Conlon, stops a speeding car with a suspicious license plate. The driver shoots Conlon, who sustains only minor wounds, then takes off. The attack proves to be the first of multiple shootings of law-enforcement officers, including Pickens himself, some of which prove fatal. Two weeks after the first incident, Conlon is shot from a moving vehicle outside the house where he and his partner are responding to a domestic disturbance call. This time Conlon doesn’t survive. The case gets weirder after Pickens checks out the house the call concerned, and finds the occupants, Edward and Paula Buxton, dead from knife and gunshot wounds. Given that the Buxtons died a while before the police arrived at the scene, Pickens must sort out whether the murders are related. Encizo combines superior storytelling with characters who invite sympathy. Fans of gritty procedurals will hope Pickens will be back soon. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 08/07/2020

Release date 12/01/2019