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July 6, 2019

Michael Koryta: Last Words

Book 38 on my “March to 100 for 2019″—Michael Koryta: Last Words—Private investigator Markus Novak finds himself in some tight spaces.

When I read Koryta’s Rise The Dark, I discovered that it was the second book in the Markus Novak series, so I knew I needed to go back and read the first, Last Words. The stories stand alone well enough, but there are several pieces in the second novel that make more sense having read the first.

In this first case, Novak finds himself in trouble with his employer, a legal group that specializes in saving wrongly-convicted death-row inmates. But Novak is spending significant time hunting for his wife’s killer and has crossed several lines, so the board of directors is debating whether to keep him employed. His boss sends him to Indiana to check out a request to investigate a decade old murder mainly as an excuse to get Novak out of town.

Everyone knows the company will not take on the case because no death-row inmate exists. In fact, the person sending in the request is the prime suspect, a man never convicted because of a lack of evidence. But he appears to be the only person who was with the victim at the time of her death, because it occurred deep inside a little-explored cave where only the suspect had access.

So why would he request help catching the killer? Because he says he truly can’t remember what happened and suspects he may have actually done the crime.

What follows is a complicated web of possible suspects with conflicting motives and a lot of claustrophobic time underground. Yep, brought back memories of my own time in a cave.

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