Crime Victims

A Buck Taylor Novel

Fiction - Crime
297 Pages
Reviewed on 04/22/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Keith Mbuya for Readers' Favorite

After a tough six weeks of rescuing victims of an earthquake in Northern Turkey, Victoria Talmadge, a first responder, and her cadaver dog Jasper headed to the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway for a much-needed vacation. However, while they are hiking around the Grand Mesa, Jasper keeps stopping and sitting on spots with crosses along the trail, his signature way of alerting Vicky to a dead body. Vicky reaches out to her friend Bax in the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI), who then refers her to Agent Buck Taylor, who coincidentally was also vacationing on the Grand Mesa. On digging up one of the spots, Buck confirms the presence of a body, and soon the trail is flooded with local authorities. Eleven bodies are discovered on the trail. Further forensics on the bodies hint at law enforcement's greatest fear; a serial killer is on the loose. Can the CBI find the perp before they hit their next target? Find out in Chuck Morgan’s Crime Victims: A Buck Taylor Novel, Book 12.

If you are looking for a compelling mystery murder and crime novel, Chuck Morgan’s Crime Victims is an enthralling pick for you. Featuring the experienced and savvy Agent Buck Taylor, Morgan once again weaves an intriguing plot, delivering a gripping whodunnit in this page-turner. Running the plot on a multi-perspective narrative, Morgan drew me in with the cast’s personal conflicts. The evocative depictions colorfully breathed life into the scenes. This, coupled with Morgan’s knack for paying attention to details, had me feeling like I was right next to the characters in every scene, watching the action unfold. The storyline and the spell-binding plot twists had me on the edge of my seat. Morgan depicts the cast’s emotions in a down-to-earth way. This allowed me to connect with them. Despite being the twelfth in the series, Crime Victims is a stand-alone read that offers drama, action, thrills, adventure, and wit, among so much more.

Carmen Tenorio

In Crime Victims by Chuck Morgan, Colorado Bureau of Investigation/CBI Agent Buck Taylor’s vacation is abruptly ended when he is directed to meet Vicky Talmadge about her cadaver dog Jasper’s weird alert behavior among several crosses planted in a forest. The dog and his handler were also on a break when the canine unexpectedly acted as if he had found a graveyard of hidden bodies. All the concerned departments of the CBI immediately got to work when Buck Taylor confirmed at least a body. But one corpse after another kept piling up as they worked on exposing whatever they could find in the places marked by a cross. A total of eleven bodies were found. They later suspect that the serial killer had even left a trail of bodies in another state. Will they be able to catch the killer before another victim is taken, along with the unfortunate ones that were left to rot?

A riveting plot and good pacing keep the reader in suspense as Buck Taylor and his team establish evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. The author sustains interest by skillfully showing the art and intuition involved in crime investigation and the science behind it, as well as the elements that can delay or confound it. There are a lot of quirky characters in the novel and the author gives them mannerisms, voices, and descriptions that make them distinctive and realistic. The details and descriptions of the work and everyday life of the players are both pleasantly appealing and revolting, depending on the scenario. What’s most captivating and intriguing about the character development is the backstory of the unhinged characters and how the author uses them as part of the perplexing trail of a horrendous crime. Themes of sadism, cruelty, grief, forensics, police procedures, and even a little bit of romance can be found in this installment of the Buck Taylor series. Highly recommended for crime story fans who especially enjoy the information as well as the twists, turns, and the untangling of intricate and cold case crime sprees.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

In Crime Victims by Chuck Morgan, the Grand Mesa in Colorado is such a lovely place to live until eleven bodies are discovered. Each is buried on a quiet mountain road, and their graves are marked by a cross. The FBI was not aware that the Roadside Cross Killer was active once more, a killer who kills for fun, with no pattern to identify. It's down to Buck Taylor and his team of Colorado Bureau investigators to track down a killer who has been operating undetected for years. Can they find him and stop him before the twelfth victim? It won't be easy. He leaves no clues, and it will take something special for Taylor to solve this crime.

Crime Victims by Chuck Morgan is the twelfth book in the Buck Taylor series, and although I haven't read the others, I found this one easy to follow as a standalone. In many ways, this feels like a non-fiction crime story, which gives it an element of reality. It is an adult-only book, given the language and violence, but I didn't find it over the top or out of keeping with the story. The characters are well-developed, although reading the entire series in order would give readers a better idea of the main protagonist. That said, I found him entirely likable and relatable, just from this book alone. There is plenty of action here. The first few chapters set the scene for what becomes a fast-paced, intriguing story with lots of mystery and suspense that builds throughout. All in all, an enjoyable crime thriller, but I would recommend reading the series from the start to get a real feel for the characters.