The Poisonous Ten feels just like an episode of CSI. And that’s a good thing.
Detective Parks is just returning to work after an incident where his partner was found playing fast and loose with evidence against a child molester. Everyone is worried about Parks ability to get back on the job and the first case he is assigned to is a doozy. A dead woman, found in an abandoned house, staged for the police as if it were a play. There were high amounts of deadly gas in the room so a forensic toxicologist, Jacqueline Isley, is brought in to help with analysis. As the plot goes on, dead bodies continue to turn up with evidence making it clear that this was the work of one seriously sick puppy.
I like to categorize the mysteries I read and I would put this one in the “police procedural” category. I think it’s a very good example of this sub-genre of mystery.
I think the business of being a detective is shown very well. How the department operates, how the members of the department interact, how their motives drive what they do. The forensic toxicology is really interesting to me as is the use of social media and the internet to be able to find information quickly. The novel does a good job of giving you the feeling of being on the inside of a police investigation. This isn’t an Agatha Christie novel where clues are laid out for you if just can see them. This is more like real life where there are no clues for a long time and then suddenly one thing breaks loose and brings all the facts together. As a police procedural, be aware there is a lot more bad language and graphic violence than in a cozy mystery.
I like that I could tell the characters apart right from the beginning. They were each quite distinct from the beginning which is not always the case in a book that is the first in a series. The relationship between Dr. Isley and Det. Parks developed quite rapidly, something that normally bothers me. In this case, however, even Det. Parks seems surprised at how quickly they are becoming close so it actually worked. I like Parks and I’m sure I’ll be happy to revisit him in the next book in the series.
I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway program and this is my honest opinion.