2009: #30 – The Chemist (Janson Mancheski)

chemist Book #30 was The Chemist, the first book in Janson Mancheski’s Cale Van Waring series.  The back of the book reads:

Last spring, three girls went missing. Nothing linked the cases except a frustrating lack of clues or motive. Then, one of them turned up headless in Lake Michigan pumped full of date rape drugs. Detective Cale Van Waring doesn’t have proof, but he knows the girls are being abducted. Now, spring has returned, and so has Van Waring’s invisible kidnapper. Another girl is missing, but this time Van Waring finds a spotty trail. With his boss on his back and his girlfriend threatening to leave unless he commits, Van Waring struggles to put the pieces together before another girl ends up missing–or dead.

You never know what you’re going to get when you’re asked to review a book, and in this case I was definitely not disappointed. I really enjoyed Mr. Mancheski’s debut novel. Van Waring is a tough detective with a stubborn streak and a little bit of a softer side, and he’s often too smart for his own good. This missing-person mystery had a unique twist that you don’t see often… it wasn’t just about some psycho taking girls (but I don’t want to give away too much).  I liked that the book didn’t only focus on the case, but on the relationships between the characters. My only complaint is that I thought the bad guy deconstructed a little too quickly… I would have liked to see a little more cat and mouse once Van Waring got on the right trail. But on the plus side, at the end of the book even the detectives don’t know the full story, and I like the possibility that creates. There’s a lot of competition in the world of suspense, but I think Mancheski has a good shot at success.  I, for one, look forward to Cale Van Waring’s second adventure!

Page count: 449 | Approximate word count: 112,250

2008: Grave Sight (Charlaine Harris)
2007: The Bone Collector (Jeffery Deaver)
2006: Visions in Death (J.D. Robb)
2005: Jackdaws (Ken Follett)

Used in these Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge 2009; 2009 ARC Reading Challenge; The 999 Challenge; What’s in a Name Challenge;

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