THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS
by Gord Rollo
Published by Silver Shamrock Publishing
Available in paperback and eBook
Suspended homicide investigator, Lieutenant Jake Mercer, is pulled back into action following the discovery of a naked, blood-drenched corpse hung from a tree in an upmarket, bustling part of town. But this is no ordinary murder investigation with the victim appearing to be crucified. With the aid of rookie detectives Riley and Bello, Mercer must get into the mindset of the killer in order to catch those responsible before they kill again.
Murder-mystery crime thriller THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS is a novella from author Gord Rollo, who’s previous works include The Jigsaw Man, Crimson and Strange Magic. With the story having been originally published as a shorter tale with Gene O’Neill’s The Blue Heron for Dark Regions Press’ double-novella, Rollo has expanded THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS into a 192-page work for the Silver Shamrock Publishing release.
In THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS, Gord Rollo tells the story through the eyes of grizzled, 50-something Lieutenant Jake Mercer who finds himself frequenting his local bar O’Malley’s more than he does his own home. It’s a place where he can escape the horrors after decades of putting himself in the mind of murderers to create a tangible criminal profile they can target. After getting on the wrong side of the incompetent local Mayor, Mercer’s out on his ear but his accomplished skills keep him in high demand, especially when a mutilated body is strung up on a popular avenue for the world to see.
Rollo’s approach to storytelling is exciting and fast-paced, so much so that I found that myself speeding through the book, hooked on every word. Bringing life and personality to the character of Jake Mercer through his informal, witty and sometimes blunt delivery, Rollo has created a likeable protagonist; a man who has his faults like everyone else but is determined to do the right job and won’t stop until it’s done, even if it incurs the wrath of those above him. Mercer’s a no-nonsense kind of bloke who’s a bit of a cynic at times and finds it hard to trust others, but when he finds himself partnered with two muscle-bound rookie detectives, he gives them a chance to earn their stripes and his respect. Let’s be honest, with the murder case he finds himself lumbered with, he needs guys he can trust to help him catch the killer or killers before they strike again.
THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS pulls no punches as it explores life, death and religion, in particular those who follow organised religion and the corruption that sometimes lies within. This unfiltered approach makes for an intelligent, realistic read that feels as though it’s being unspooled in front of us. For anyone who’s watched a detective drama, the story plays out in a familiar fashion but has a raw, unflinching energy about it that gives it to you straight, even if it’s an ugly truth. You feel the frustration of the murder case, that feeling of being one step behind and then the thrill of getting a break; all the ups and downs you can imagine comes with trying to solve a time-sensitive police investigation. And like any murder investigation, there’s the crime scenes to navigate. These particular murder sites are sure to get under your skin as Rollo describes blood soaked scenes and mutilated bodies; a vision which you’ll be wishing to scrub from your mind. Within these crime scenes, we get to delve deeper into Mercer’s mind as he attempts to crack the personality and motive of those responsible. By doing so, we face the horrors of what potentially makes someone do something so horrific, but through Mercer’s profiling and crime scene investigation, we too can help to piece together the clues in a hope to solve the case alongside the protagonists.
THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS is a powerful, gritty crime thriller that you’ll be itching to complete but at the same time disappointed when you reach the final page as we wave goodbye to the story and the characters. I sincerely hope we get to see more from Rollo’s detective team in the future as this is one book I simply couldn’t put down!