Matson's Case No. 1

Fiction - Crime
290 Pages
Reviewed on 09/20/2018
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Author Biography

Pablo Omar Zaragoza emigrated from Cuba to the United States in 1959. He graduated from medical school and completed his residency in pathology, which he practiced for many years. Now semi-retired, he pursues his other passion: writing.

Susan Giffin, his co-author and creative partner, is an author, award-winning ghostwriter, and editor.

The Zaragoza-Giffin team received a 5-star review from Readers' Favorite for their very first published novel, Protect the Guilty, in 2017. They published six novels in 2018, including Matson's Case No. 1.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

There is usually something in a person’s life that defines their future. Something they can’t let go of. It can be a good thing, or a bad thing, or something that haunts the person. It’s all part of the memories that create and define who we are. There is a first for just about everything and that first is usually unforgettable in so many ways. For New York City’s Chief Matson, it was a case in the 1950s, at the beginning of his career, that defined his future. Women were being murdered. Prostitutes. And their deaths were being laid out like religious tableaux portraying biblical scenes from the New Testament, a Passion of Christ being portrayed in reverse. At first, it appeared to be merely gruesome murders, as had been the Ripper murders in London a century earlier. But Matson knew better. And now the murderer he had apprehended all those years earlier was having his case up for review yet again. With degrees in psychology and years of studying the evil that pushes someone to commit such heinous crimes, Matson knew that this man, this serial killer, should never be set free. For as long as he lived, Matson would ensure that this murderer was kept off his streets.

Pablo Omar Zaragoza and Susan Giffin’s mystery novel, Matson’s Case No. 1, leads the reader through an horrific murder plot with both speed and efficiency. The plot develops steadily with leads and tangents pulling the reader into the case as it intensifies and unravels. The sub-plot provides another case, one which many non-white people have had to endure and circumnavigate well into the twenty-first century. Matson, the main character, has special skills and an intelligence that helps him unravel the mystery behind these murders. But his skills and talent and intelligence are frequently being downplayed and sneered at by those who only see him as a black man. He is often called offensive words. He rises above these callous insults and proves his worth through hard work and education, and benefiting from a mentor who has his best interests at heart. A good murder mystery, but also a good social issues story.