THE COMMISSION (Licensed Investigator-Utah-Cont) – G+ Norman, Michael – 1st book

Poisoned Pen Press, 2007- US Hardcover – ISBN: 1-590583582

Sam Kincaid, Chief of the Special Investigations Branch of the Utah Department of Corrections (DofC), is called in to work with the police on the homicide of Levi Vogue, Chairman of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. For the DofC, the fear is Vogue having been killed by a resentful parole. This appears to be the case when the trail leads to ex-con “Slick” Watts. Watts turns up as an apparent suicide until forensics pronounce it murder. For some, the trail could mean professional disaster; for Sam, personal tragedy.

It took me into a part of the justice system I don’t believe I’d ever read before. Sam is well-developed as a character, with a personal life as a single dad. The child is there and believable, but doesn’t get in the way of the story. I appreciated the Utah setting, with Sam working in Salt Lake City but living the Park City, but would like to see the author do more with the setting the future books. The dialogue was a bit stiff, for my taste, but not terrible. All-in-all, I enjoyed this debut by Norman and would certainly read his next book.

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