Welcome Back, Jack
By Liam Sweeny
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
When Jack was six years old, his parents were brutally slain by a serial killer. The police later found drifter Clyde Colsen driving a stolen car, his clothes soaked in blood. He was tried, convicted and executed. Jack grew up knowing that they got the guy.
Now, Jack, a decorated homicide detective in New Rhodes, arrives at the third crime scene of the “South End Killer” murders and finds his name. He will soon find out something else: Thirty years ago, they got the wrong guy. And now the right guy’s come back to pay Jack and New Rhodes his bloody respects.
As Jack struggles to stay on the case, his cat-and-mouse with the killer makes him wonder if he’s the cat or the mouse. His family, and everyone in his life is fair game. As the killer escalates and threatens the entire city, Jack has a question he must answer in his desperation; can he stop the monster without becoming one?
The floodlights poured out of the open door, revealing moving shadows, empty bodybags and the vacuum darting in and out of view.
A portly guy, bald on top, wearing a dirt-streaked cardigan and khakis was seated in a recliner facing the wall opposite the front door with his arms on the armrests, calm-looking, serene and posed. Matthew Mason.
He was staring blankly ahead, cloudy eyes glazed over and frozen by the hole in his forehead. Medium caliber, by the look of the entrance wound. Jack donned his gloves and went to roll the head and look at the exit wound.
“He’s patched up back there, Jack,” the M.E. said. “Let me get him off the chair and on the floor, best I can. I’m just guessing a .38, something like that.”
Jack nodded and picked up a framed picture from the stand by the chair. A hiking scene in the mountains, the Adirondacks, maybe. Jagged rock face behind them, flanked by smoother slopes farther off.
They had backpacks and walking sticks, and they must have been high up. Dad had them gathered in his arms, and they were all smiling.
The daughter had an exhilarated look on her face. Her eyes were lit up, her cheeks flushed. Jack flipped the picture over and popped open the frame. On the bottom, “Kyla’s B-Day!—Mt. Marcy” was written in blue ink.
“They looked happy,” Gamble said.
“She’s about Paul’s age in this pic.”
“It’s a damn shame. Come over here, check this out.”
Gamble led him to an office area on the other side of the room, just a desk with a jungle of paper surrounding a laptop.
Gamble rifled through a stack of papers. “Receipts from Second Chance, Helping Hands of New Rhodes, the Red Cross, Salvation Army…”
Jack scanned through other pages, receipts and placed them back on the desk gently.
“I wish this asshole had a ‘type.’”
“I don’t know, but we’d best get into the kitchen. They want to bag the two in there.”
“Sheila and Kyla Mason.”
“What about ’em?” Eddie said.
“In the kitchen.” Jack pointed to the picture. “They have names, Eddie.”
“Nah, forget about it,” Jack said. “Tired, I guess. Had a nightmare, and woke up to
The real nightmare was in the kitchen. They found the two women; he’d have to say “women” because of their hair length and bone structure. At least that’s what he could figure out from what he saw. There were no clothes, no skin below the hair-lines. They looked like pictures of the muscular system he’d seen in doctors’ offices.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Welcome Back, Jack from Liam Sweeny in exchange for an honest review.
Let me first apologize to Mr. Sweeny and Sage’s Blog Tours for the lateness of my review. The advent of electronic calendars is not yet my friend.
It was my pleasure to read Welcome Back, Jack by Liam Sweeny and to offer my opinion of his work, although pleasure isn’t a word I would exactly associate with this novel! Welcome Back, Jack is categorized as a mystery, thriller but I would definitely call this one a psychological thriller!
And what a thriller it is! I started reading late in the day and I couldn’t stop until I had read through to the final page! Mr. Sweeny’s riveting storyline caught my attention with action from the first page and kept me ensnared all the way through. Mr. Sweeny developed the story with an abundance detail, which was at times very disturbing, I might add.
The characters in Welcome Back, Jack were written with a great complexity that had me in the novel right along with them. It was difficult to pull myself out of the book and I felt incredibly drained by the end.
I’m quite certain that you have, no doubt, deduced for yourself that I thoroughly enjoyed Welcome Back, Jack by Liam Sweeny. I highly recommend you read this book for yourself and leave your thoughts in the form of a review!
I give Welcome Back, Jack by Liam Sweeny five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee!
© October 11, 2015
Liam Sweeny has worn many hats in his life. In addition to being a writer for ten years, he has been an artist, musician, grassroots campaign staffer and spent four years in disaster response, both in leadership and in the field.
It was in the field in New Orleans that Sweeny got his start as a writer. Hurricane Katrina, and his role in the relief effort, fueled his early writing, where he began in sci-fi/fantasy before transitioning into crime, mystery and noir.
As a crime writer, Sweeny’s work has appeared in many publications, such as Thuglit, All Due Respect, Near to the Knuckle, Shotgun Honey and others. You can find out more at www.liamsweeny.com.