Bone Wires by Michael Shean
ISBN: 9781620070703 (hardcover)
Publication date: July 13, 2012
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
In the wasteland of commercial culture that is future America, police are operated not by government but by private companies. In Seattle, that role is filled by Civil Protection, and Daniel Gray is a detective in Homicide Solutions. What used to be considered an important – even glamorous – department for public police is very different for the corporate species, and Gray finds himself stuck in a dead end job.
That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.
When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grapple with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial. A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.
Dan Gray is a homicide detective. His job isn't glamorous but it does provide great perks as you move up the corporate ladder. Dan is currently a Tier 3 with a Blue Badge and he yearns for a case that will take him to Tier 4 or 5 and garner an Amber Badge. Dan is all about the job. His partner, Brutus Carter, has been on the job as long as Dan has been alive. Carter actually worked for the Seattle Police Department before policing went to the private sector. Carter appears to do his job and nothing more, or at least that's how it appears to Dan.
Dan's dreams are fulfilled when he receives not one but three calls for homicides in less than one week. All of the victims have had their spines removed. The first victim is an off-duty CivPro officer, Anderson. The investigation into his death allows Dan to meet the stripper, Angela "Angie" Velasquez. Angie seems to have dirt to dish about the deceased and she gradually spills her information while flirting with Dan. Even though a similar homicide occurs within days of the first, Anderson's case is quickly closed once it is learned he was selling CivPro information to outside concerned parties. And once that case is closed, Dan works fast to become friendlier with Angie.
Even though Dan seemingly solves the "spine thief" case and ties it to at least a few hundred unsolved cases, he remains restless. Dan is quickly pulled up the chain and receives his Amber Badge. He's at a higher pay grade and receives numerous upgrades and perks, such as a new vehicle, a new apartment, and a bonus for solving the case. He even got the girl, as his relationship develops with Angie, albeit slowly. But all is not what it appears and just when it seems like Dan's life is going full-steam on his desired career track he runs into a major snag that could cost him his life.
Mr. Shean has provided a dystopian mystery thriller with Bone Wires. He paints a haunting picture of a possible future that has suffered the ravages of global warming and numerous wars. The language is often harsh which appears to amplify the dystopian qualities of this not-so-distant future world. The characters are all well-developed, and the action and settings very realistic. The good and bad guys seem to exist in a world filled with not only black-and-white, right-and-wrong but also myriad shades of grey. Dan struggles to remain on the side of right but is pulled into the greyer areas as the story progresses. Mr. Shean has provided a story filled with plenty of twists and turns so the reader is never quite sure what will come next. Bone Wires was a very different mystery-thriller read for me, primarily because of the language (a lot of profanity is used but it adds to the harshness of the story and doesn't really detract). I'm not sure if I would have chosen Bone Wires as a story to read on my own, but I'm very glad I had the opportunity to read it. If you enjoy mystery thriller reads with an edge, then grab a copy of Bone Wires . . . it won't disappoint you.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes via Full Moon Bites Blog Tours. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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