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Reviewed by Petra Ayling for Readers' Favorite
Welcome Back, Jack starts off with a bang when New Rhodes detective Jack LeClere is called to a grisly homicide scene. The shocking crime appears to be the hallmark of the South End Killer, but, worryingly for Jack, the murderer left Jack's name at the crime scene. The ensuing investigation reveals a possible connection with the horrific deaths of Jack's parents when he was only six years old. The case is becoming personal for Jack as he is hunting down a ruthless serial killer while trying to protect himself and the people close to him. Can Jack outsmart the serial killer before he himself is dragged down into this villain's dark underground world?
Welcome Back, Jack is a solid, gritty police procedural, the first in a very promising series featuring homicide detective and family man Jack LeClere. Jack is reminiscent of the traditional, hard boiled crime noir detectives, but it is refreshing to see that, unlike a lot of other detectives in this genre, he is also a committed husband and loving father. Although that is not to say that he does not have some personal issues as well.
Liam Sweeny has created a cast of memorable characters full of depth, including Jack's strong and loving wife, his teenage son, and retired police father-in-law as well as his focused but struggling colleagues. They are true-to-life, flawed people and you can't help but root for them. The dialogue is authentic and enjoyable to follow. The serial killer was pure evil and gave me the creeps. The crimes were brutal and disturbing and, thanks to the vivid descriptions, unnervingly easy to visualize. The action and tension built up slowly but steadily before turning into a fast paced psychological thriller with an explosive finale. I am looking forward to reading more about Jack, his colleagues, and family in the next installment to this appealing series.