Back on Murder - J. Mark Bertrand ***Caution: Contains a Naughty Word***

Roland March, treated as an invisible by the rest of the homicide squad, discovers a key piece of evidence, that someone, presumably a woman, had been tied to the bed where Octavio Morales had been shot.. He’s anathema to the rest of the department for reasons unknown but having to do with a personal tragedy in his life, and he has been assigned to the “Car Squad” which tricks persons with outstanding warrants into thinking they might have won a car so they show up only to be arrested. It’s not considered to be glamorous duty. But because of his find, the Lt. assigned him back on the murder squad. In the meantime, Charlotte, his wife, an attorney in a premier legal firm, is on drugs to help her sleep, and wants Roland to get their garage apartment renter out for throwing irresponsible parties. And romance? Forget it.

March wants nothing more than to redeem himself in the eyes of the Homicide Squad, and things begin to look up until he tries to make a connection between the disappearance of a local girl and the girl missing from the murder scene of Morales.

For some reason this book is billed as a Christian mystery and comes from a publisher traditionally known for those kinds of books, whatever the hell they might be. It does have a couple of church member characters but they seemed quite real and flawed to me, and March certainly doesn’t have majestic epiphanies. Then again, perhaps the Christian threshold is so low that all it takes is the absence of “fuck.”

Just a good, solid detective story. I’ll definitely read more from the author despite the label.