Heat of the Knight

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
323 Pages
Reviewed on 05/14/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Heat of the Knight is a murder mystery novel written by Tom Howard. Detectives Richard Knight and Ian Brooks couldn’t help but notice the lurid details of the murder of a young legal secretary that were headlining the daily papers. While they had their own private investigation chores lined up, they also noticed that the murder was in the 16th precinct, their old stomping ground. Their musings were interrupted by the arrival of a potential client who announced that she needed them to solve her sister’s murder. Scarlet Thomas was bringing them a cold case, however, and she described her fruitless efforts to get any precinct involved. It had been one year, three months, and twelve days since Chelsea Rodriguez was found slain in her apartment. What made both Knight and Brooks sit up and take notice were the similarities between this cold case murder and the current case regarding the murder of Bethany Rain, a law school student and legal secretary.

Tom Howard’s Heat of the Knight is a cut above the vast majority of the police procedural and private eye novels out there because the author's two detectives seem to embrace the best of each genre. We experience their police training while appreciating the benefits and independence they have by working for themselves. We see how they approach each problem and challenge that they face, and their unique roles as somewhere between private eye and police detective make the resolutions unique and worth following. Howard’s characters are deftly honed, and their interactions are a joy to behold. His New York City setting is authentic and had me wishing a number of times for a slice of New York’s best pizza. His plot is complex and carefully crafted, and apt to keep armchair sleuths busily considering their options. Heat of the Knight is fast-paced and exciting, and it’s most highly recommended.

Deborah Lloyd

When Scarlet Thomas walked into the office of two private investigators, Richard Knight and Ian Brooks, no one could have foreseen where her request would lead. She sought their services for a cold case – the murder of her sister over a year earlier. Both Rick and Ian were former New York City police officers, and they had just finished reading about the recent murder of a secretary in a law firm. Several details in Scarlet’s sister’s murder and the new case were too unique to be coincidental, especially the fact that both women’s hearts were removed and placed in their hands. In the murder mystery novel, Heat of the Knight, written by Tom Howard, a complex, thrilling adventure unfolds. Rick is a widower with a bright and beautiful fourteen-year-old daughter, Kate, who strongly resembles her mother. She too becomes entangled in the complex situation, involving the murdered women’s boyfriends and creepy neighbors, as well as diamond smugglers and mobsters.

This plot of this book is complicated with many twists and turns, keeping the reader engaged from the first page to the last. There are many characters interwoven in the story, and each one’s characteristics are presented in succinct yet thorough ways. For example, Captain Trent Ryan has a somewhat brief part in the plot, but his personality is clearly portrayed. The storyline is presented in an logical, illustrating the step-by-step process of investigation. And the action scenes are “sit on the edge of your seat” terrifying. Author Tom Howard has penned an intriguing murder mystery in Heat of the Knight. An exciting read!

Peggy Jo Wipf

Heat of the Knight by Tom Howard is a fast-paced suspense thriller that will glue you to your seat. When Richard Knight reached his limit of horrific crimes as an NYPD Homicide Detective, he and his partner Ian Brooks started their own Private Investigative Company. They can now choose which cases they take. Scarlet comes to Richard with a cold case, her sister’s murder a year ago. This one is personal to Richard as he had dated Chelsea in high school and wants to find justice for her. Unfortunately, the serial killer strikes again, leaving Richard and Ian a warm trail to follow. But the connection between the two girls is hard to find. As they find and rule out a suspect, another pops up. Each step that gets them closer to the killer threatens his own daughter. Will he be able to protect her while fighting gang leaders, murderers, and a ghost?
There is a lot going on in Heat of the Knight. Tom Howard has the principal characters, Richard Knight and Ian Brooks, racing all over New York City finding clues and dodging bullets. This novel is a complex web of suspects and personal drama. I love how descriptively the author writes without giving away the actual killer until the end. The characters aren’t perfect but are rich and well-rounded. This book shows the pressures and temptations that police officers face on a day-to-day basis. In the end, you will find Howard set this novel up for a sequel. Overall, I would love to see this character come to life in a movie, it is that good.