Chain Of Evidence by Ridley Pearson
CHAIN OF EVIDENCE
Police lieutenant Joe -Dart- Dartelli made one critical mistake in his police career. Three years ago, he chose to ignore a piece of evidence in a suicide case--a suicide that may have possibly been a murder--because the dead man was himself a vicious woman-killer who more than deserved his fate. And the evidence that Dart ignored could have raised difficult questions about his former mentor, the brilliant forensic specialist Walter Zeller. But another suicide victim turns up--the body of a wife-beater--and Zeller has disappeared off the face of the earth. With nothing to tie the deaths together except some strange blood chemistry--and clear evidence that the death was self-inflicted--the case is officially closed. Dart knows that what's best for him is just to let things lie. There's no proof; only two unrelated suicides. Cleared cases. But Dart knows in his deepest heart that Zeller is on some twisted vigilante crusade. And it's going to happen again. And only Dart can stop it.
FBI agent Cameron Daggett has for years been on the trail of an international triggerman responsible for planting at least two nearly undetectable explosive devices on airplanes. When a strange murder takes place in a Seattle aircraft training installation, Daggett suspects that his nemesis is involved. The man who was murdered was a specialist in training pilots to fly the Duhning 959-600--a new breed of ultra-sophisticated aircraft--and he was killed in a Duhning flight simulator. Was the killer trying to be taught to pilot one of these super jets? How is this connected to Daggett's recent discovery of sophisticated altitude detonators? Is Anthony Kort--Daggett's prey--about to strike again? Using the most intricate and complex forensic techniques, the aerodynamic and technical principles that make monster jets stay aloft, and sheer cop's reasoning--Daggett picks up Kort's trail. He is joined by forensic experts, aerodynamic engineers, and criminal psychologists--but it comes down to Daggett and Daggett alone to see the pattern in the seemingly endless technical detail, and stop a tragedy before it takes place. But Kort is smart, and driven by a motivation that Daggett cannot possibly understand. And when Daggett gets close, Kort makes it personal. Hard Fall is a breathlessly paced thriller, an intellectual and technical game of cat and mouse, and a modern classic of suspense fiction.
The setting is Carmel, California--a scenic, peaceful tourist haven where James Dewitt is the police force's only detective. His usual caseload is stolen bicycles and an occasional burglary. But things change with frightening speed when a series of apparent suicides, which soon prove to be murders, shocks the community. Dewitt, a former forensic scientist, struggles with the minutest of clues in his quest for the killer, while departmental turf wars and local politics increase the pressures on his investigation. But his steps are dogged by renegade ex-cop Howard Lumbrowski, the man Dewitt blames for his wife's death. How is Lumbrowski connected to the killings? And why does he have information from Dewitt's confidential files? Dewitt finds himself playing a dangerous game, breaking his own rules in his desperate search for answers. And as the case takes another murderous twist, the past comes back to haunt Dewitt. He will have to fight to save his reputation--and his life.
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