Monday, June 6, 2011

Deadly Rites, A Robert Sable Mystery Nov 2012

           Sergeant Robert Sable and his partner, Aaron McCabe, have been called to a crucifixion at Saint James’ Church.  Someone killed and nailed a priest to a hewn cross, raised it, inverted and left it hanging in the center of the sanctuary.   At the base of the cross, a plaque reads “For the Children.”  A parishioner finds an unconscious priest next to the cross and calls the troopers.  He has a bloody knife in his hands and across his chest are scattered photographs of both priests molesting the parishioners’ children.  CSIs also find pornography on the priests’ computers and in their rooms. 
          At first, the case seems a slam dunk, but chemical tests show both priests have been drugged with gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).  Another priest is missing and Sable wonders if he’s the killer or he, too, has been murdered.  In the missing priest’s room, there are no fingerprints, hair, fibers, DNA, or any trace of the him.  However, an invisible message readable only with black lights had been left with the name, Avenger.  On the surface, it appears priests are killing priests, but perhaps Alaska has another serial killer.  
          As Sergeant Sable starts his investigation, he finds similar murders occurred across the lower 48 states, the killer apparently working his way toward Alaska.  A number of priests blamed for similar crimes at their churches are on death row.  The troopers begin their investigation by questioning church staff and parishioners, and getting a sketch of the missing priest.  Sable’s team checks numerous databases to see if they can pin down a suspect.  Realizing the Avenger is somewhere in the state’s system of church schools or churches, Sable’s team decides to go undercover to catch the killer.  With the killings still happening, Sable must sift out the clues, find and stop the killer.

Dark Gold, A Robert Sable Mystery, Published 2003 at Amazon

Dark Gold, the 4th Robert Sable Mystery is the unifying pivot of the series.
             Alaska State Trooper Robert Sable is a man with a troubled past. He watched his wife and son die at the hands of his enemies and, having weathered that tragedy, has recently lost his fiancé, Lisa Riddell, in a bus crash.  Guilt is driving Sable; neither his physical strength nor his psychic gifts were enough to protect the people he loved.  Sliding into a lifestyle of alcohol abuse and risk-taking, it is uncertain if Sable himself will survive.
            Sable's partner, Josh Sampson, is the son of a World War II pilot lost in a plane crash in Alaska.  Sampson knows the secret of the C-46's last flight: it carried a fortune in gold.  What he doesn't realize is how ruthless Philip Martin Frost, the son of another crewmember on the doomed aircraft, is prepared to be.  Frost, a merciless killer, hides behind a mask of respectability.  He eliminates Josh Sampson without a qualm and prepares to kill Robert Sable, on the assumption that Sable knows everything.
            However, Sable knows nothing of the lost riches.  Driven by Sampson's death, Sable and new partner Aaron McCabe, tackle the clues that Sampson left behind.  Slowly, they piece together the puzzle of the lost plane and its cargo.  Confronted by competing FBI agents, crooked cops, hired assassins and hardened crime bosses, they try to track down the gold and stop the cycle of killing. Along the way Sable rediscovers his self worth and has another chance at love.  

DARK SHAMAN, Mystery/Horror, Published 2003, available at Amazon

 This is an earlier Robert Sable Mystery with a horror twist.
            Children are being kidnapped and slaughtered in the Alaskan bush.  Alaska State Trooper Robert Sable takes over the investigation from Nicholas Kelly, who has vanished without a trace. Sable has to deal with an elusive killer who is more cunning than all his previous adversaries.  FBI Agent Annelle Carpenter joins Sable on the case to help track down the serial killer.  Their hunt encompasses the town of Token, nearby Indian villages, and hundreds miles of wilderness.  As they interrogate local rapists, pedophiles and sexual deviants, the bodies of children keep turning up.  Each clue and suspect leads to a dead end.
           A Tlingit village shaman, Dan-e-wåk, believes the killer is a powerful ancient evil shaman, Auktelchnīk, who has returned.  Though Sable and his partner scoff at the idea, the mounting evidence seems to validate the absurd theory.  Working almost 24 hours a day, Sable realizes he needs a break to get a new perspective on the case.  He takes a weekend off to visit an archeological excavation with professor Lisa Ridell from the University of Fairbanks.  At the dig, Sable finds ancient evidence of similar murders.  Could this be coincidence or is someone imitating the ancient legend?  When he returns, he discovers someone is killing off the suspects one by one.  Is the new killer an irate parent or someone else?  If the serial killer is the ancient shaman, how do they find him and stop him?