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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Random Acts of Malice is a police procedural written by George R. Hopkins. Cindy Waters was an intermediate school teacher in Staten Island. She was rushing off to school after attending mass in her local church when a truck drove at her, catapulting her body through the air. Her assailant dragged her into an alley, inserted an ice pick into her ear and then proceeded to drive his truck over her body. Father Bennis, hearing of the accident, rushes off to administer the last rites, and he believes that he recognizes her from mass that morning. As he's discussing her identity with the police, Bennis notices a older man in a combat jacket who is staring at him, and he seems disturbingly familiar.
George R. Hopkins' mystery novel, Random Acts of Malice, is a well-plotted and entertaining police procedural. Father Bennis is a complex and complicated character whose past black-ops work with the military had him working alongside others who relished the work that they were doing. His unofficial partnership with his brother, Detective Tom Cavanaugh, as they try to track the killer, is a joy to watch. Hopkins builds a credible accounting of the steps the police take in solving and preventing murders. The foe they're chasing is not what he seems; however, behind each player in the field is another shadowy figure directing the action. There's also a strong legal thriller in Random Acts of Malice as the attempts to get Judge Abbruzza to resign seem strongly related to the murders taking place. Random Acts of Malice is fast-paced and exciting, and the New York City and Staten Island venues ramp up the tension and add to the reader's enjoyment. It's highly recommended.