Gritty, coarse, rough; ideal descriptions for this debut thriller
by a former actor/disc jockey/cab driver/probation officer, to
mention only a few of Michael Simon's many careers. Now he can add
successful writer to the list.
Sgt. Dan Reles, New Yorker by birth --- and nature --- is striving
to assimilate well into life in Austin, Texas. But his current
focus is dealing with the recent death of his partner, Joey, and
his disturbingly inappropriate feelings for Joey's widow. She has
become nearly an obsession, an obsession so blatant that it has
earned him sneers and crude comments from fellow officers. He knows
that if he doesn't shape up soon, he may be out of a job.
Unfortunately, he doesn't have a lot of friends on the APD, being
not only a bit of a loner but definitely not a team player when it
comes to dirty cops.
On a scorching September evening, Reles catches the call for a
possible suicide. But it smells funny to him. A fellow committing
suicide by jumping in front of a bus right after a rushed breakfast
at a taco stand? While on the scene, searching for body parts to
complete the badly mangled corpse, Reles spies a bonafide homicide
victim, no doubt about it. Regrettably, more parts are missing from
this torso than the bus victim. The missing parts start showing up
on the doorsteps of some of Austin's leading citizens, and the
police start wondering why. What's their connection? The Austin PD
is convinced that, as soon as they can identify the victim --- if
they ever locate the hands or the head --- they might have a shot
at figuring out motive and finding a suspect. But when the crucial
parts surface, they trigger more questions than answers.
Meanwhile, Reles has a nasty run-in with an officer who harbors a
dangerous loathing for him. A bad situation deteriorates, and Reles
finds himself scheduled before a review board. Bringing the killer
to justice is the only thing that will keep him on the force, but
his dead partner keeps sidetracking him --- as does his dead
partner's widow. Things don't look too good for Sgt. Reles. Then,
making himself even more unpopular, he decides to investigate the
suspicious suicide as a murder too.
DIRTY SALLY is packed with edge-of-your-seat action. Michael Simon
adroitly grips you by the throat and doesn't let go. This book will
keep you up all night.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 29, 2010