THE CHEERIOS KILLINGS (Police Procedural-Detroit, MI-Cont) – Okay Allyn, Doug – 1st in Lupe Garcia series
Thomas Dunne, 1989- Hardcover

Detective Lupe Garcia is investigating the brutal murders of four, seemingly unrelated, women. The only link is they each had their throat cut and each is wearing cowboy boots, including a nun. In Garcia’s sights is an ex-con who did his time after murdering his wife, recently lost his son to drowning and plays guitar in a country-western band.

To me, Doug Allyn is one of the many underrated authors. I have enjoyed everything he has written, but this is not my favorite. These are not sensitive, new age cops; these are hard-bitten, street-smart, been-there-done-that cops. The dialogue, language and racial slurs are explicit but realistic. Garcia is a Viet Nam vet who accepts that he and his African-American partner were hired to fill ethnic quotas. My biggest problem was his absolute conviction that he knew who the killer, even though evidence didn’t support it. The actual killer comes as a surprise, but it was a twist that just didn’t feel right. I did enjoy the reason for the book’s name, though. I believe this was his debut novel, and it shows. I’d recommend skipping the two Lupe Garcia books and move straight to Mitch Mitchell.

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