Letters from the Dead
George R. Hopkins
Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views (01/14)
George R. Hopkins’ “Letters from the Dead” has four main characters: A New York City, very tough detective named Tom Cavanaugh; his half-brother, Jack Bennis who is a Jesuit Priest with a questionable past; Mary Jane MacIntyre, a 90 year old woman from a nursing home with a secret; and a serial killer thirsty for revenge for his daughter’s suicide. The reader will discover each of these characters’ stories separately though each chapter only to see them come together in one intriguing plot. Hopkins somehow managed to pull it off along with an impeccable writing style.
The story begins when Tom is transferred from New York City to Staten Island due to a conflict he had with the District Attorney during his last case in New York. After Tom leaves the City, the District Attorney falls victim to the serial killer and survives the initial attack. Since Tom didn’t have much action in Staten Island, he decides to work that case. At the same time, Tom’s half-brother Jack begins working as a substitute teacher while on leave from the Church, at the same school that Tom’s last case’s victim attended. When the people that worked that case with Tom begin to die, Jack decides to help Tom with his investigation.
Parallel to what is going on, Hopkins introduces Mary Jane, who lives in a nursing home and has a stack of letters from her sister. These letters hold a secret that will turn Tom’s and Jack’s lives upside down. But I won’t ruin it by giving it away. I will say that Hopkins developed an intriguing thriller that kept me glued to the pages. I was not able to put it down thanks to the combination of interesting characters, pacing and suspense, along with the humor.
“Letters from the Dead” by George R. Hopkins is definitely and excellent read filled with suspense and plot twists that will keep any reader on the edge of their seats. I strongly recommend it!