Matson Case No. 4
NYC Detectives Matson and Smith receive the case of Mattie James, once a high-end prostitute, retired and peddling on a street corner, murdered and dumped in an alley. Matson’s wife Sissy, whom he had rescued from the street life, says Mattie’s shabby, unkempt appearance doesn’t sound like the Mattie she knew who enjoyed living in luxury.
While the detective duo investigates Mattie’s murder, New York City experiences the chaos of the Civil Rights Movement, the murder of Malcolm X, and reverberations of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination in Memphis, TN. With riots on street corners an everyday occurrence, one ray of hope for Matson comes from Searle, a white college student who arrives in the Big Apple in a show of solidarity with suppressed black folks.
In the midst of keeping peace and rendering justice, Matson refuses to relegate Mattie’s murder to the cold case bin. His keen interest in solving her murder leads him on a wild goose chase that involves finding her source of White China, pure heroin that he found in her peddler’s satchel, plus sorting out her high-priced clients suffering from syphilis, and coordinating with the CIA’s drug trafficking arm operating in Southeast Asia.
When Smith queries why the endless dogged pursuit ten years in the making, Matson tells him that everyone – queen or prostitute – deserves the same treatment by the men in blue.
Five Stars – Action-Packed Thriller
In another riveting historical thriller by award-winning author Pablo Zaragoza, this police procedural is both action-packed and factually fascinating. The timeline takes the reader through the turmoil of 1960s civil unrest, offering a wider perspective over a generation that changed America. Matson’s Case No. 4 focuses on the unsolved murder of a mysterious and truly impressive self-made woman who against all odds rose from prostitute to prominence, pulling others up with her. The twisty turns and elusive clues come to a wild finish and disturbing conclusion. – Lorraine E., Books2Read