Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Jabberwocky Murders: March 2018

Back in the day I spent a lot of time trying to get a plot to work. It was frustrating but when the track the story was going to take finally worked out a feeling of satisfaction set in.

The Jabberwocky Murders did not have that kind of difficulty with the plot. That result may have been a product of having much of the story worked out in a thought process and it helped that one of the main characters had already been established in “Murder at the Ritz Carlton.”

Once Josh Colum entered (and he was originally “Noah” but I kept referring to him as “Josh” so Josh he became) the essence of the plot became clear.

Having a chapter that pretty much intact written for an earlier work meant Josh had a ready-made deep set motivation for the plan he’d concocted.

With those two characters the plot appeared to lay itself out and I applied my ability to develop the characters as they rolled through the story.

In the first quarter of the book all of the above comes into play. The plot takes its decided dark tone when Jenny Mallory takes her parents’ dog Evie out for a nightly stroll. She’s a Sac State student with hopes of becoming a legislative aide once she graduates. But that is going to be forever a “could have been” with Josh carrying out his first murder.

Josh learns that the woman who rented the apartment on 25th is a detective, and one who is investigating the death of the woman he shot.

Slocum and Janet continue the investigation at the Med Center and Bing Maloney Golf Course. They are performing the essence of detective work trying to piece together the metaphorical puzzle.

Josh Colum is still trying to have his plan verified by the media carrying the story of the woman, Jennifer Catherine Mallory, he shot. Hearing her name gave Josh a decided feeling of loss rather than enhancing the elation of having been successful. His media surfing doesn’t show the importance of the real estate sign. And he gets a call that his Wednesday appointment is early.

As Slocum and Janet work the case Josh does a favor for Janine Hollowell that he muses might result in a sexual quid pro quo.

The media (newspaper and TV) carried Mallory’s murder for one news cycle and then it was on to the next bit of mayhem. This media normality did nothing to validate Josh in his own eyes.
The newspaper seemed to ease the tension Slocum and Janet felt from the Chief and the inhabitants of the Fab Forties. Even so, the pressure to find the killer and punish him or her was there and would only intensify.

What the detectives needed was something tangible to link the killer with the victim. As they continued the investigation Josh was about to chalk up victim number two.

The second victim shows Sacramento that a serial killer is at work. All the new killing brings to Slocum and Janet is more pressure until a witness calls in.

The witness only provides the detectives with a general description of a possible suspect but one specific he observed has the potential to ID the killer: a Raiders jacket.

The only real information that bore on the case was the witness telling them about the Raiders jacket. And someone leaked that intel to the media, which meant they were left with trying to find who in Sacramento had bought a Raiders jacket.

Josh is shaken by the media revealing that a witness had seen a Raiders jacket on the possible killer. He’d trashed the jacket that Sammie had given him, but if the police followed up she would point them to him. She had to be eliminated.

Did either Edie or Cheryl know that Sammie had given him the jacket? He had to find out.
Pete Slocum is removed from the case and that makes Janet the lead investigator.

Janet is put in a difficult position having to question her father’s friend and the man who interceded with the department to get her the job.

Janet’s query to Amazon comes through with Sammie shown as the buyer of the Raiders jacket.
With a backup Janet confronts Sammie to find that she bought the jacket for Josh.

After the satisfaction of Josh’s arrest, Janet has to look forward to another case.
Why did I end it when I did? Good question. Seemed like the logical place and if I’m so motivated gives me a place to start another Janet Slade novel.:)

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