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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Murder in Malibu is a murder mystery novel written by John L. Evans. The bullet-riddled bodies of Dianne Mallory and her lover, Derek Ramsey, were discovered late on a Friday evening by her husband, John, who notified the police. He had been staying at the couple’s in-town apartment, but had decided to check out their beach house after receiving an anonymous telephone call about Dianne’s assignations. Detective Lieutenant Joe Kellerman and his partner, Tony Rodriguez, are handling the investigation. They are officially LAPD officers; however, a shortage of personnel in Malibu led to their being temporarily assigned there. Their investigations turn up some interesting facts about both the Mallorys and Ramsey. Dianne and John, who were screenwriting partners, were considering getting divorced, and Ramsey had recently and very abruptly broken off an engagement with his fiancee while she was in the final stages of making wedding arrangements. His fiancee, Cheryl Hunter, quickly became the detectives’ prime suspect as her story was riddled with falsehoods.
John L. Evans’ murder mystery, Murder in Malibu, is an intriguing, dark and gritty blend of the police procedural, legal thriller and crime noir genres. I enjoyed watching as Kellerman and Rodriguez investigated the murder and interviewed their suspects and witnesses. The courtroom scenes are vivid and exciting, and they have an authentic ring to them. Evans makes it difficult to figure out who really did commit the murders as he provides a number of clues and red herrings to keep his readers guessing, and his plot is well-crafted and believable. I enjoyed reading Murder in Malibu and recommend it for fans of hard core mystery thrillers.