Shortcut (The Cut Series Book 2) by Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

ShortcutA road less taken leads to murder and a lot more in Short Cut, the newest addition to Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt’s thrilling, Cut crime fiction series.

As the second book in this compelling crime drama series, the book does well with furthering the story of the Hamilcar Ham Hitchcock and his squad of dedicated detectives from the Yonkers police department, as they are once again called into action to investigate when death rears its head in Yonkers.

Continuing his tradition of remarkably written crime fiction populated with varied characters that are complex, consistent, well-developed, and still fascinating, author Grunwaldt brings readers another truly compelling read. The suspense begins to build immediately when detective sergeant Hitchcock and the Yonkers general assignment team start out investigating not one but two deaths each initially seemingly coincidentally consecutive but unrelated. Things begin with Detective Hamilcar Hitchcock being called to the scene of a newly discovered body; that of seventeen year old Jenny Franklin who took a shortcut on her way home which unfortunately proved fatal. Meanwhile, as Ham and the team are enmeshed in the throes of investigating the death of the Franklin girl another body is discovered; however, there are obvious evidentiary elements that give the appearance that this death could be an accident. However, the story grows in suspense-filled complexity as deliciously plotted twists and turns, and additional deaths, artfully present the possibility that something more sinister may be at work. With few viable leads, multiple potential suspects and bizarre pieces of evidence, Ham and his team have their work cut out for them as they struggle to get to the truth of both deaths.

Notwithstanding the realistic police procedural aspects, this book offers a multi-faceted read within which Author Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt aptly brings to light the human element of the characters within the story, as the realistic personal struggles and interpersonal interactions various characters play out; particularly those of Hamilcar Hitchcock and Key member of the squad, detective Sandra Tremont.

On the whole, Short Cut made for a substantially entertaining read that I personally look forward to continue enjoying by reading the next in the series. Author Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt has a well honed knack for intriguing storytelling, that combines a nicely blended mix of the intimate side of police investigative procedure, suspenseful mystery, the human condition and worthy characters. I recommend reading this book as well as its predecessor, Half Cut as both are worthy reads especially for lovers of crime fiction.

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