End of 118 Days by Bob Rosborough
Bob Rosborough’s End of 118 Days is a suspenseful murder mystery. Officer Mitch Hampton’s wife died in a car accident while visiting him out of town while he investigated a serial killer, known as “the Thruway Killer”–the one serial he and his partner never apprehended. Ten years later Mitch has become a private detective with his own security and detective agency. Although he doesn’t usually take cases directly, a wealthy potential client approaches Mitch with an offer he can’t resist and he finds himself in the middle of another serial killer investigation. The crimes take place across New England and New York, so he is assigned a young, sexy, foreign, FBI agent named Anna Smokeen. After the death of his wife, detective Mitch Hampton has dutifully remained single, but now that his children have grown up and moved to England with his in-laws, he might have a second chance at romance. As the two embark on a road trip across the northeast in pursuit of the “New Moon killer”, they give in to the pleasures of new relationships (and local cuisine). Meanwhile, a mysterious club reconvenes for the first time in ten years. Could the mysterious organization, Mitch’s wife’s death, the Thruway killer, and the the current case all be connected? Will Mitch finally have the life he desires, or will the past destroy his chance at happiness?
Although the twists and turns of the novel are fun, they could have been better executed to create more suspense and to allow the climax of the novel to unfold more clearly. The characters could also use more development. Although it is obvious that Mitch would be sexually and romantically interested in Anna, it is unclear what the desirable Anna see in an older, chain-restaurant obsessed private investigator. The mystery club is one of the most interesting aspects of the book, but is under utilized. Between these issues with the plot and characterization, the contrived dialogue, and grammar and punctuation issues, the book leaves something to be desired. Generally the book has a good skeleton, but could have had better execution.