Title: The comic book killer
By Author: Ryan P. Casey
NO STARS. NONE. ZIP. NADA.
Tag line: Why was there never a comic book superhero around when you needed one?
Police characters: Sgt. Todd Banks, Det. Liz Sheridan
The gist: The story begins with the two cops standing over the draped body, talking about comic books they used to own. The body of Randall Evans, owner of the Comic Relief book store was found on the floor behind the cash register, the victim of a single bullet to the chest. No weapon was found. The call came in around 3:00 from his assistant, Isabelle. She was the only other person in the shop besides the killer. The cop who loves comic books noted that Evans had just acquired a rare comic book, mint condition, well worth over a hundred grand. The cop said he would have killed to have a look at it. It was kept behind the register in a locked drawer. Evans wore the key around his neck. Isabelle, who is Goth, said she was in the back room sorting stock when she heard the front door bell. She said she heard voices, then a loud bang like a gunshot. She stepped out from the back room just as someone was making his way out the front door. She saw him as he ran past the front window. She described him as tall, wearing a blue jacket with some writing across the back (some sports team she thought), a red baseball cap, dark jeans, blonde hair in a ponytail. She said he had a scar running from the corner of his lip to his chin. She found the body and called the police. She did not see where the man ran to.
As the cops left, the cop who loved comics picked up a book and said he wanted to buy it for his collection and asked how much it cost. Isabelle squinted and walked closer, asking, “Which one is it?”
The cops knew she was the killer.
Crime scene: Comic book store.
Clues: The detailed description Isabelle was able to give, and the fact that she can’t see well.
Suspects: Isabelle or some random dude.
Red herrings: None.
Solution: Isabelle had shot her boss for the pricey comic book and made up a story about a robber, but she overdid it with the description seeing as how she can hardly see two feet in front of her.
My two cents: This one was pretty easy. Let me change that. This one was too easy. No challenge.
Now, let’s talk cops. Pretty callous to stand over a dead body and chit chat about what comic books you loved as a child. Pretty thoughtless to say he’d kill for a peek at the rare book. Pretty dumb to handle a comic book at a crime scene and try to buy it. Pretty stupid to walk out the door leaving behind a store worker and a dead body on the floor; must have been donut time. Pretty clumsy not to call in crime scene to dust the door. (By the way Crime Scene would have done a gunshot residue test on her right off the bat.) Pretty sad the cops didn’t even think about getting video surveillance from any of the neighboring stores. Bottom line; this story was pretty awful.
I don’t know why it was important to tell us Isabelle is Goth. The story gave a good description right down to her black nail polish. So I guess all Goth people are suspects now?
How do we know she was the only other person in the shop besides the killer?
This was a clumsy read, the pacing was off, the clue was abysmal, and the characters sucked. We don’t even have a real motive other than she must be evil because she’s Goth. No stars. None.
Vacation is over. No more Ms. Nice Guy.