(Reviewed by JD Jung)
“Follow the grief and you’ll find the killer.”
Peter Bragg, a former San Francisco Chronicle reporter turned private investigator is contacted by a woman, Maribeth, from his past. It’s not what you think. When he was a journalist, he talked her out of committing suicide, and she never forgot him. Now she needs his help. She has become a “psychic consultant” and has visions of bodies—victims of violence– buried in an open field, probably in Sonoma County. She’s afraid that she could be next.
Bragg relates the story to a sergeant from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department; he actually takes all this seriously. Eventually bodies are found in Jack London State Park, and though there doesn’t seem to be a relationship between the victims, the task now is to try and find one and solve the crimes.
Maribeth is reluctant to help beyond a certain capacity and her flirtatious niece, Bobbie, is concerned for her aunt’s welfare. Between Bobbie, Karen (a business partner of one of the victims) and maybe a female police detective, Bragg has serious attention from some attractive women. However, he can’t be bothered. He’s still in love with his ex-girlfriend Allison, and can’t get over her. Through all of this, the story takes us on a fast ride with twists and turns galore along with, of course, dead ends.
Though it’s a page turner and a satisfying read, the only problem I had with Die For Me was the idea that a law enforcement agency would be willing to expend valuable resources solely on a tip from a psychic. That seemed far-fetched to me and unfortunately stayed in my mind throughout the book. However, if you can get past that, mystery lovers are sure to enjoy the story.
Our protagonist Bragg kept me intrigued as the author slowly reveals his character to us, and I wanted more–but in a good way. I feel that stand alone stories could have been written about many of the supporting characters. They were that fascinating. Unfortunately that will not happen, as author Jack Lynch died in 2008.
Die For Me is one in a series of books about PI Peter Bragg and is being re-released by Brash Books. I’m looking forward to reading more about our NorCal PI.