Flowering Judas-Jane Haddam

Flowering Judas

Jane Haddam

Minotaur, Aug 2 2011, $25.99

ISBN: 9780312644338


In Mattatuck, New York, the corpse of long missing college student Chester Morton is found hanging from a billboard that had been asking for information from anyone who had seen him for a dozen years.  The Local Police Chief Howard Androcoelho asks private investigator Gregor Demarkian to help investigate whether Morton was murdered or committed suicide as he was missing for a dozen years.


After taking his friend ninety-nine years old George Tekemanian to the hospital in Philadelphia, Gregor goes to Mattatuck.  Although concerned about his friend’s health that interferes with his case focus, Gregor still finds oddities that lead him to conclude Morton did not die on the billboard but was placed there after he was dead.  He soon finds a back pack near where the body was found; inside is the skeleton of an infant, which may have belonged to Chester.  While Gregor ponders why Chester vanished years ago, the deceased’s shrilling mother demands the cops arrest her son’s former girlfriend while also wanting odd information about her son.


The latest Gregor Demarkian private investigative thriller is an exciting tale that deftly contains a different type of inquiry compared to the last case (see Wanting Sheila Dead).  The protagonist works on the mystery of Chester Morton as he seeks answers to several whys that he believes will lead to the culprit; at the same time he is worried that his friend back home will not make it to celebrate his upcoming birthday.  Flowering Judas is a strong entry as Demarkian shows both his hard and soft boiled sides.


Harriet Klausner

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