Review | Suspicious Deaths, by: Peter S. Berman

I have 2x copies of this book I’m giving away – Check out the Instagram post to enter to win through 3/31/2022.

I’m as much a fan of L.A. detective mysteries as the next person, especially when they’re ripped from the headlines and told with snappy pacing and great, relatable characters. Peter S. Berman has crafted just such a story in his Suspicious Deaths, which I recently completed. This 2017 title from the small, but impressive, Merseyside Press, is sure to captivate fans of the crime thriller genre.

L.A. Crime Mystery Powerhouse – Berman

Whether you’re a fan of L.A.-based authors like Stephen J. Cannel, Michael Connelly (Bosch series), or any of the classic 1940’s-1970’s hard-boiled detective writers like Elmore Leonard or Micky Spillane; you’re going to find Berman a solid “newer” addition to the fold. He brings decades of real-world criminal justice experience to his storytelling, having served as a Head Deputy District Attorney in L.A. up through 2002.

Tough Lady Cops Solving Complex Crimes

In Suspicious Deaths, we meet a heroine L.A. Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD) detective, Jen Donahue, who has all the great hallmarks of an intriguing lead cop. She’s experienced, tough, smart, and leads a sexy lifestyle. We’re further introduced to her feisty detective partner in Shari Thompson, the slightly older, salty and sarcastic veteran. Similar to Cagney & Lacey, Donahue and Thompson are modernized, west-coast, version of hard-boiled lady cops.

The partners wind their way through a complex investigation of a pair of teenage girls, the victims of a deadly hit-and-run car accident. One of the girls survives, but is in traction with a fractured skull in ICU, where her nurse mother is drawn into the ensuing investigation.

Intricate Crimes With Medical Mystery Intrigue

Throughout the rollicking, fast, 435 pages, we find twists and turns throughout the UCLA hospital system, with no-less than the division head of Neurosurgery a player. Dr. Anthony Culpin, whose wife’s mysterious bathtub drowning-incident, occurring the same night as the hit-and-run, becomes implicated in a complex police investigation into possible nefarious motives throughout the pair of interconnected violent events.

Berman’s work here is of a very high caliber. I’ve been reviewing books by self-published, or small-publishing house, writers for a little while now. I can safely say this is a book that could be found in any of the largest publisher’s catalogs for crime mystery. The plot arch, pacing and character development are all of a professional level. You will find this to be a thoroughly impressive – and above all – fun read. Grab a copy and enjoy!

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