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In the vein of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, Gary Gusick takes readers on an explosive ride-along with Mississippi detective Darla Cavannah, a Yankee transplant making her name in the Deep South.
After performing at a local old-folks home, off-duty police officer and part-time Elvis impersonator Tommy Reylander smoothes out his pompadour, climbs into his pink Caddy, and gets all shook up—fatally so, when a bomb explodes. Whether he was killed for his police work or bad singing is a mystery that detective Darla Cavannah is determined to solve.
Though it’s been several years since Darla (reluctantly) partnered up with Tommy, she convinces her boss to let her lead the murder investigation. As the new regional director of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Shelby Mitchell can think of better uses for his star detective’s time, but not even the most hardened good ole boy can resist Darla’s smart, savvy persuasions. She soon embarks on a roller coaster ride through the world of Elvis tribute artists while tracking down one of the most bizarre serial killers in the history of the Magnolia State. Aiding her pursuit of the killer is recently reprimanded officer Rita Gibbons, fresh from the trailer park and described by Shelby as “half a licorice stick short in the manners department.” But Rita’s plenty smart, even when this case takes their suspicious minds in an entirely unexpected direction.
Officer Elvis by Gary Gusick is the second book in the Darla Cavannah mystery series. I have not read the first book in the series, but found that did not impact my enjoyment or understanding of this book. Darla is a lieutenant with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. She had worked in the past with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office and had been Tommy Reylander’s partner. Tommy is known as ‘Officer Elvis’ since he moonlights as an Elvis impersonator. After Tommy is the target of a bombing, Darla feels obligated to investigate the case as his former partner.
Darla dives right in to the investigation, checking out the local bad guys. I liked Darla. She is smart and funny, too. I liked getting to know her through this story. Darla is good at her job. I love that the lead is a female. I loved how the killer’s plan unfolds simultaneously with Darla’s investigation and we were able to follow along. It was very interesting to watch it all play out. The author did a nice job with writing this mystery. Rita was a fun partner for Darla. I would like to read others in this series. Darla was a great character, I loved her attitude and I enjoyed the mystery.
About the Author
Gary Gusick is the author of The Last Clinic. A former advertising executive with more than thirty years experience as a copywriter and creative director, Gusick has won numerous national and international awards for creative excellence in advertising.