That small, western Pennsylvania city, not far from Pittsburgh, is the fictional setting for Dana’s King’s terrific series of police procedurals.
The third book in the series, Resurrection Mall, picks up about year after the violent shootout at the end of the previous book, Grind Joint.
Detective “Doc” Dougherty is on a new case. Five, small-time drug dealers meet their bloody demise in the food court of a rundown shopping mall. Two men with shotguns did the job.
The place of the attack, renamed Resurrection Mall, is the city’s hope to revive a poor area. A pastor, with the adopted name Christian Love, is rebuilding it as a church and center for his ministry.
The pastor has two assistants with criminal records. He also has some shady contractors with possible connections to the drug dealers.
Suspects are everywhere and Doc keeps running into more every time he turns around. Complicating matters, there is a witness who saw the killers’ faces. It is a teenager whose mother is a junkie and who Doc helped in a previous story. The kid is older and tougher now, and scared to death of the hitmen.
Resurrection Mall is fast paced and suspenseful. Two foot-chases involving Doc are vivid. Dana King also has a way of making a reader “see” and “feel” Penns River in winter.
It is always a pleasure to ride along with Doc and his partner, tough, grumpy Grabek. Also back in this book are Neuschwander, “Eye Chart” Zywiciel, and their boss “Stush” Napierkowski, the chief of police.
A few weeks ago, Dana King published his latest Penns River novel, Pushing Water, the fifth in the series.