When Bonz Bagley, a has-been performer, is shot dead in front of his Nashville bar, along with his little dog, the police are baffled. Bonz was generally well liked and they can find no motive or viable suspects. “Sherlock” Shane Hadley, a detective whose career was ended by a bullet to the spine that left him confined to a wheelchair, is the only reliable witness of the shooting. But he didn’t see much, just a slight figure with an odd gait running from the scene. Detective Hardy Seltzer, the man in charge of the investigation brings Shane in on the case, counting on his mythical reputation to help find the murderer.
Meanwhile Shane’s wife, Dr. Katya Karpov, a brilliant neuroscientist, is launching an investigation of her own. For months she has been helping to test a new drug that has the potential to cure Alzheimer’s disease. She and a team of other doctors and scientists have been running a trial on a group of dementia patients, the first of which was Bonz Bagley. His results were initially very promising but his condition soon began to deteriorate rapidly, casting doubts on the safety of the drug. Katya’s attempts to bring this to her supervisor’s attention lead her to believe that he and his unpleasant wife may be falsifying reports in order to cover up their mistakes. Katya is determined to get to the bottom of it and expose the truth. Things are more complicated than she imagined, however, and her case soon becomes entangled with her husband’s. They must race to solve both mysteries before anyone else gets hurt.
DEADLY SCIENCE is interesting and suspenseful, even though the identity of the murderer is revealed early on. Author Ken Brigham’s medical and scientific expertise lend realism and credibility to Katya’s character and the drug trial and studies. However, the dialogue is rather repetitive with characters often responding to a question with, “Well, Hardy…” or “Shane, my man,” depending on who they’re speaking to. The British expressions are also pretty cliché (does anyone actually say jolly good, aside from in old movies?).
DEADLY SCIENCE by Ken Brigham is a cleverly plotted mystery novel with an interesting premise, vivid descriptions and quirky characters that’s marred from time to time by repetitive and cliché dialogue.
~Heather Stockard for IndieReader