“There’s no need to mourn the dead. They have no worries. They can’t hurt anyone. They have no deadlines or commitments weighing them down. Don’t mourn the dead. Mourn the living.” – Walter Bendix.
Mourn the Living, the second book in author Henry Perez’s series featuring newspaper reporter Alex Chapa, finds Alex juggling several complicated issues dealing with both the living and the dead.
Recently divorced, Alex’s vacation with his visiting young daughter is interrupted when he is called by his editor and informed that the paper’s lead reporter, Jim Chakowski, has been killed in an explosion at his home.
Though written off by the police and fire departments as an accident caused by a gas leak and faulty wiring, Alex’s poking around causes him to believe it was not an accident at all. It turns out Chakowski had been investigating a series of seemingly unrelated murders strung out over numerous years, in several different cities.
As Alex picks up the investigation it becomes apparent not only were the previous murders related, but that the killer has made Alex’s city his newest hunting ground. Before he knows it Alex is doing more than chasing a story, he’s chasing a killer; one who’s also chasing him.
As author Henry Perez noted in his guest blog on Monday, Alex is very much a flawed character. His obsession with his job was the major factor in his marriage’s collapse, he doesn’t spend enough time with his daughter, his temper tends to get him in trouble with both his editor and the police, and his new relationship is on the verge of going the way of his marriage… for the same reasons.
Yet, it’s precisely those things that make Alex so believable. Perez has created in Alex Chapa a series lead who the average reader can actually imagine knowing, or even see in themselves. Add to that wonderfully rich supporting characters, race against the clock plots, and Perez’s insider’s knowledge of the workings of the newspaper industry and you’ve got a must read new crime fiction series.
Mourn The Living is available from Pinnacle Books (ISBN: 978-0786020331).