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Monday, May 26, 2014

By Any Means by Chris Culver



Released May 2014

Chris Culver
Grand Central Publishing

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Ash Rashid's been working in public relations where his main duties involve speaking at local schools. When driving home one afternoon, he comes across a car that's crashed into a phone pole. He calls dispatch and is told no one is currently available and that he needs to secure the scene. He never imagines he'll find two bodies. Worse, 911 has a recording of a woman saying there was a third victim, and given the sounds on the recording, that third victim abducted that woman while stealing her car. Suddenly, the simple crash Ash thinks he's working is now a murder and abduction scene.

While Ash hasn't worked homicide for a while, he's temporarily reassigned and put in charge of solving the murders and the kidnapping. Ash puts his all into solving the case, even when it proves problematic.

When it comes to police procedurals, this is about as detailed and exact as any book I've read in my lifetime. The author does an outstanding job of detailing Ash's work without making it seem tedious.

There are a lot of characters in By Any Means, so you might want to have paper on hand if you are the type of reader who needs to keep track of everyone. While Ash is the definite hero, the father of one of the murder victims also plays an integral roll in the book. He's definitely going to find the killer, and he doesn't mind breaking a few laws, possible even bones, to get to the truth. With his storyline, there is some bouncing from past to present and back, but the trips back in time are italicized, so you can't miss the shifts.

Another aspect I really liked was the personal look into Ash's life. He has a wife who is tired of his long hours, failure to check in, and perhaps most importantly, her fear that he's back to drinking. This rounded Ash's character and made him more than a detective, it made him a human with flaws who struggled just like the rest of us.

If you're looking for a mystery full of surprises, with characters you're unlikely to forget anytime soon, By Any Means is a solid choice.


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