Dark Blue Death is the second in Jan Grape’s Zoe Barrow mystery series. The first, Austin City Blue, came out in 2002. Dark Blue Death came out in 2005, but I didn’t get a copy until this summer when Jan and I were both mentors at the Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event.
In Dark Blue Death, Austin Police Office Zoe Barrow is assisting in new cadet training when one cadet is killed. Someone is out to kill APD officers with a high-powered rifle and Zoe is in the middle of the investigation. And if that’s not enough to keep her busy, her husband, a former member of the Austin SWAT team, disappears from the nursing home where he lives in a semi-vegetative state after being shot by gang members in a drive-by. On top of those two stressors, Zoe has to deal with her husband’s parents.
If you’re looking for a mystery that’s true to life, you can pick up Dark Blue Death. Grape has done her research on the Austin PD. She even starts each chapter with something related to the APD, from facts about the officers and budget of the agency to Frequently Asked Questions concerning the Citizen Police Academy to information about officers killed in the line of duty.
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