Dan Mahoney gives compulsive procedural buffs exactly what they crave in Black and White (St. Martin's, $24.95) -- every step in the methodical process of hunting a high-profile serial killer. The work details are all here, from the first radio call to the final ritual of execution, delivered with the voice of authority by a former New York police captain who had plenty of time to master the mechanics in his 25 years on the job. He also factors in the intramural politicking that makes the criminal justice system such fun, by giving the fathers of two of the victims the political muscle to team up Brian McKenna, the series detective, with Tommy McKenna, no relation but one of several characters based on famous real-life law enforcement agents.
The crimes that dictate these extraordinary measures involve torture killings of the whips-and-chains variety, and they are sufficiently ghastly to hold anyone's interest. But the true purpose of these bizarre atrocities is to extend the criminal jurisdiction of the case. As the McKennas track their quarry from New York to California and Arizona and onto international turf, the narrative becomes a buddy book linking all the far-flung detectives who share the New York cops' obsession with the case. All of them, even the F.B.I. agents, play nice together, and one scene that has four of these lawmen dangling over a cliff in the Arizona desert to recover a crucial piece of evidence captures all the dangerous thrills of doing the impossible.
When Cindy Barrone, the daughter of a city councilman, turns up dead at a cliff off Lover's Lane along with the son of a powerful Virginia lawyer, the NYPD knows it had better get results. Detective Brian McKenna, known for his diplomatic as well as investigative skills, is put in charge of the case and, much to his discomfort, is teamed with crack homicide detective Tommy McKenna - a character in Dan Mahoney's Black and White (St. Martins Press, 368 pages) who, in real life, is one of the most famous homicide detectives in the history of the NYPD. Tommy, known not only for his ability to solve murders but also his skill in writing about them, has spent the past 18 years trying to track down the person responsible for shooting to death a man and torturing a woman at the exact same beauty spot. Under normal circumstances, Tommy would be lead investigator on the case. But Cindy Barrone's father can't stand Tommy and is determined to call the shots in his daughter's murder investigation. Black and White is as gripping a tale about a police investigation as you can get. Mahoney, a former NYPD captain draws on his 25 years as cop to provide a blow - by - blow description of how homicide detectives do their job. What you get is a good story about building a case that can be brought to trial. Mahoney doesn't get inside the minds of the killers, nor does he waste time on the private lives of his investigators. He show how smart cops can find clues in the most seemingly impossible situations. He argues that legal protections for an accused can get in the way of a speedy investigation when police have to wait hours or days to get permission to search for vital documents or pull credit card and phone checks. When the New York detectives begin comparing notes with a retired San Jose homicide detective fixated on a similar serial killing eight years before, and an Arizona deputy sheriff in whose area a killer also struck, they discover,that all murders occurred at scenic spots. There are lots of surprises, all helping to make Black and White a top-notch thriller thanks to a good writer who has obviously walked the walk with both his fictional and real-life heroes.Publishers Weekly
Few authors map the political minefields faced by cops on a high profile case with more realism than Dan Mahoney (Once In, Never Out). In his fifth novel, this former NYPD captain ups the ante considerably by including real-life lawmen as characters in a sizzling tale of a serial sex-murder case that spreads from California to Thailand. Mahoney's regular hero, NYPD Detective Brian McKenna, is tapped by Homicide when the married daughter of city council president Paul Barrone is savagely slain in a lover's lane killing with Barrone aide Arthur McMahon, the son of a powerful Virginia politician. Brian is teamed with the more famous Tommy McKenna (no relation but a real-life NYPD detective), who's in the doghouse with Barrone over a campaign tiff. Tommy ties the M.O. to an unsolved case from 18 years ago; the cops get a break with the killers' first mistake--use of stolen credit cards in San Jose, California--revealed to them through illegal information proffered by Bob Hurley, an ex-cop turned PI who specializes in legal "shortcuts." Brian flies to San Jose and meets Randy Bynum, a black cop obsessed with a similar killing there who has found clues that lead him to a Web site and pictures of what turns out to be the killers, one black and one white, whipping a young victim. The McKennas and Bynum join forces, while McMahon's father hires Hurley to bypass legal red tape and move the case along. Mahoney weaves a brilliantly twisted plot that makes the most out of solid police work while tapping into extralegal sources to actually solve the case. Clues gleaned from around the world are braided into a noose of denouement that will leave victims' rights advocates cheering and police procedural buffs smiling.Booklist
NYPD Detective Brian McKenna hasn't worked a homicide in years, but when the daughter of a prominent local politician is the victim of a torture murder, McKenna is back on the body beat. He's paired with high-profile namesake Tommy McKenna, who has a propensity to write books about his cases and generate publicity for himself. Brian struggles to keep the case low-profile as the two detective pursue tenuous leads and eventually travel to the Southwest, where they learn the perpetrators like to take pictures of their handiwork and publish them in a series of magazines that cater to the very wealthy and very disturbed. They must enlist the aid of the international police community in an effort to find two killers in a world of monsters. A compelling, graphic procedural that details the painstaking steps required to bring very clever killers to justice. The author, a 25-year veteran of the NYPD, gets it oh-so-right.