Incendiary Designs: A Jack Caleb and John Thinnes Mystery

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9780312192457: Incendiary Designs: A Jack Caleb and John Thinnes Mystery

After rescuing a police officer from a brutal arson attack by a group of fanatics, Dr. John Caleb joins forces with Detective John Thinnes to investigate a series of deadly arsons as they pursue a ruthless and vicious killer who uses fire as his weapon

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From Kirkus Reviews:

As the O.J. Simpson case smolders half a continent away, Chicago Detective John Thinnes battles an equally sizzling case: a seemingly endless series of suspicious fires. The trouble begins when a friend of Thinnes's, psychiatric consultant Dr. Jack Caleb, out jogging, runs into an angry mob bent on torching Patrolman Paul Nolan's car while Nolans inside. But the patrolman, rescued by Caleb, turns out to be luckier than his partner, Arlette Banks, who's found beaten to death in a nearby vacant lot. Since there's no trouble identifying several of the white-robed arsonists as members of the mail-order Church of the Divine Conflagration, the case seems straightforward, if horrific. But neither Brian (a.k.a. Wiley) Fahey, the ex-chauffeur serving as the Divine Conflagration's current spiritual leader, nor Sister Serena, the psychotic congregant who's only too eager to confess her role in the apocalyptic slaughter, seems capable of the kind of planning that's behind the siege of arsons waiting in the long, long summer ahead. Not surprisingly, Jack Caleb's flirtation with a prospective patient, worried because his marriage is on the skids, will end up having a direct bearing on the deep-seated plan behind the fires; also not surprisingly, Caleb's pain and hope will come through more clearly than the dizzyingly complex plot. Lightning flashes of insight and compassion dot what's otherwise the most conventional of Dymmoch's three mysteries so far (The Death of Blue Mountain Cat, 1996, etc.). -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Chicago homicide detective John Thinnes and gay psychiatrist Dr. Jack Caleb, the unlikely and slightly mismatched stars of Dymmoch's well-received The Man Who Understood Cats and The Death of Blue Mountain Cat, continue their somewhat uneasy alliance in this third installment. The solid, sometimes tedious but always believable details of Thinnes's investigation of a series of arson murders serve as ballast for some heavy coincidences that ground the plot line. The first of these is used to connect the pair and describes Caleb's heroics when, jogging in Lincoln Park one morning and coming upon a band of cultists trying to burn a cop car, he fends them off long enough to pull out the cop who has been locked inside. Thinnes is put on the case. Another obviously convenient twist is Caleb's developing relationship with a man who becomes one of the suspects in an arson-for-hire scheme. Murders proliferate as the investigation intensifies; all the while Dymmoch weaves a compelling tapestry of various Chicago neighborhoods and their cultures. In the end, the pace of the plotting, the absorbing action scenes and the appeal of most of the cast compensate for the handy serendipities. Agent, Ray Powers.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Dymmoch, Michael Allen
Published by St. Martin's Press, New York (1998)
ISBN 10: 0312192452 ISBN 13: 9780312192457
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st. nice, tight, unsold, unread first edition of this mystery, set in Chicago, third in series. Bookseller Inventory # 000243

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