The Bullhead Murders

A Jena Halpern Mystery Thriller

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
308 Pages
Reviewed on 07/21/2023
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Author Biography

Jena has been kicking around in my universe looking for a place to land for some time. She initially appeared in a couple unfinished short stories which will likely never see the light of day. There was something about her, I couldn’t relegate her to the shadows. I hope you like her opening volley. Dark, atmospheric, The Bullhead Murders is the first novel in the Jena Halpern Mystery Thriller Series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite

The Bullhead Murders: A Jena Halpern Mystery Thriller is a murder mystery novel by Michael Allan Scott. A series of gruesome murders of white males in Bullhead City shocked the small community. Lt. Dan Kropp convinced his captain to call in the help of Jena Halpern, a psychic consultant, to help find the killer. The first victim had spoken to Jena five months before when she was present in spirit as the killer mutilated him. Jena has a special gift and witnessed ghostly images of the murders but could not see the killer. Dan and Jena found a lead during their investigation that could connect the victims. The captain was not convinced and wanted the case dropped. Dan and Jena had come too far with their investigation and would not give up on finding the killer.

The Bullhead Murders is complex and intriguing. Michael Allan Scott has a gift with words and had my attention from the first page. The events were described in detail, and with images from Jena’s psychic reading, it was easy to visualize the environment. All the twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what would happen next. The characters were authentic and relatable. I enjoyed the attraction between Dan and Jena, although they had an unstable working relationship. There were times when they worked together, and sometimes they were engaged in a heated argument. The story was brilliantly written, with a surprising development at the end that I did not see coming.

Olga Markova

The Bullhead Murders: A Jena Halpern Mystery by Michael Allan Scott is a thrilling crime novel with mysticism and romance. Lieutenant Daniel R. Kropp and Patrolman Jason Sykes are police officers at Bullhead City on the Colorado River in Arizona. They discover a mutilated and decomposing male corpse in an RV trailer at The Sandbar RV Resort. The trailer is trashed, and its only valuables are various weapons. This is the fourth murder victim in five months, and the police have yet to catch the killer. Having used conventional investigative procedures, the Bullhead City Police hire clairvoyant Jena Halpern to help with the investigation. Approaching the murder scene, Jena feels a lingering threat. But will they catch the killer?

The Bullhead Murders by Michael Allan Scott captivated me instantly with its unique aspect of the police resorting to Jena’s clairvoyant abilities to investigate the murders. I was amused by the author’s reading of the minds of Dan and Jena and converting their thoughts into action. The gripping suspense and the psychological depth of portraying the characters and events kept me turning pages. The romantic thread enriched the story and made it relatable. But most of all, I liked that the author went beyond the conventional entertainment of crime fiction and exposed the topical problems of drug addiction and the impact of political considerations on crime investigations. Fans of crime fiction, action thrillers, and psychological mystery will be thrilled by this fascinating novel.

Asher Syed

The Bullhead Murders by Michael Allan Scott takes place in Bullhead City, a small community with low crime and a shocking series of murders that occur. Four white males are killed within five months, and their genitalia are severed. Lt. Dan Kropp, the lead investigator, seeks help from Jena Halpern, a psychic consultant. Jena visits each crime scene and they develop a mixed working relationship. They discover a potential link between the victims who frequented a gay bar called the Hogtie Saloon. To continue the investigation, they must convince Dan's captain, Sam Ferguson, of their progress. Dan and Jena disagree on a suspect and as a result, their disparate motives are revealed.

The Bullhead Murders: A Jena Halpern Mystery Thriller by Michael Allen Scott stands out because of its interesting characters and emphasis on the paranormal without resorting to what my cop friends call “hocus pocus”. Scott does not write with the baked-in tropes of investigative fiction and goes to great lengths to show readers what the characters see. The crime scenes are described down to the dirtiest detail and Jena's psychic readings help us visualize the surroundings clearly. Dan gets barfy at the scenes and even the smell is described, and I got a little barfy as it came to life in my mind (that's a good thing). The ending is intense and so sad, and while as a parent it is very satisfying, any human being who is not pleased with it needs to get their humanity checked. It is not all happy but it is very good. Very highly recommended.