Jerry Kennealy. Jigsaw (2007) 296 pp.
Carroll Quint is the entertainment critic for the San Francisco Bulletin, a job that comes with fringe benefits like movie screenings, play premieres, opera openings, and close personal contact with the city’s glitterati. Quint is thrust into the role of unwilling detective when a serial killer calling himself Thanatos—the Greek god of death—starts sending him cryptic e-mail messages, taunting him with clues about his next target taken from Alfred Hitchcock movies. All of the targets also happen to be acquaintances of Quint’s, a fact that quickly makes him the police’s prime suspect. With the grudging help of San Francisco homicide inspector Dave Granger, along with his girlfriend, Terry Greco (she is the paper’s book and restaurant reviewer, “the proverbial ten pounds of candy in an eight-pound bag short and tightly packed”), and even his mother (a former actress who was an extra in Live and Let Die—“how many guys can say his mom was a Bond Girl?”), Quint has to decipher the clues and catch the killer, before he becomes a victim himself. The first title in a new series.
Setting: San Francisco