I’ve become a big fan of police procedural thrillers, and Alton Gansky delivers with his latest, .
It seems a serial killer is loose in San Diego, but not just any serial killer. This one brutalizes and tortures his victims before they finally die of their severe wounds. One man is beaten to death with bare knuckles, another with rods, and one scourged until the flesh is stripped from his back.
Homicide Detective Carmen Rainmondi heads up the investigations. She’s a cop with painful memories of her older sister’s murder in 1985, an event that changed the direction of Carmen’s life and has formed a protective shell around her heart that no man can breech.
After the first murder, Carmen interviews one of the victim’s instructors at the San Diego Theological Seminary, Dr. Ellis Poe. Dr. Poe has his own secret, one that Carmen brings to the forefront after thirty years of lying dormant. The introverted Dr. Poe and tough Detective Rainmondi are about to discover that their pasts have put them both on a collision course with a nightmarish destiny.
Gansky does a fantastic job of creating an antagonist so utterly evil that even a well-read thriller fan will find the crimes shocking. But even better are the characters of Rainmondi and Poe, two people with a past that has shaped them into polar opposites. Opposites, yes, but equally tragic in how it has effected their lives and relationships. I found myself rooting for both of them through the entire novel, not just in the apprehension of the killer, but for the healing that both would need if they didn’t want to carry all their turmoil to their grave.
I must add that I’ve spent some years in San Diego, both as a Navy Brat and during my own four-year stint. I could picture the city through Gansky’s descriptions. He does the beautiful town justice.
From a spiritual standpoint, you won’t find Wounds preachy or over the top. Gangsky doesn’t insult the reader by bringing all the main characters into a relationship with Christ. We know life isn’t quite so simple. We’re left hoping, though. And that’s quite enough after the roller coaster ride Gansky takes us on.
I give it 5 stars. You won’t be disappointed.