Witness to Slaughter by K. A. Lugo

Witness to Slaughter by K. A. Lugo
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, LGBTQ
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Jack has coped through previous holidays, but this one feels different. It’s been four years since he lost his family, and clues to finding those responsible have dried up. Hopelessness has him so tightly wound that he’s often driven out of his claustrophobic apartment before the ever-present black dog of depression drags him to a place where there’s no coming back from.

Jack wants to be left alone with his sorrow, but when he’s offered double his fee by the wife of one of the city’s most elite families, how can he refuse? She wants him to follow her husband, Franklin, as she suspects he’s cheating and needs photos to get around the strict prenup. Franklin leads Jack across the city to The Majestic Lounge, the Castro District’s most popular gay nightclub. By the time he finds Franklin, Jack is forced to break up a heated argument between him and club owner, Chad Lucas.

Lucas approaches Jack the following day, wanting to hire him for added security during the club’s popular annual Drag Queen Extravaganza. The event’s usual excitement is marred by the deaths of several of Lucas’ friends that authorities are calling suicides. Lucas convinces Jack something more nefarious is going on and agrees to the job.

Does the city have another serial killer on its hands, one who’s targeting the LGBTQ community? Can Jack find a witness? Surely in the crowded nightclub, someone must have seen something.

I enjoyed this installment of the Jack Slaughter series. The plot was engaging and intensely moving. The twist in the story was unexpected. I enjoyed the friendship and love between Jack, his previous partner Ray and Ray’s wife.

It’s the holiday season and Jack is trying to live a normal life participating in the yearly toy drive and attending holiday functions but unfortunately, he is still coping with the loss of his wife and daughter. It’s been 3 years since his wife Leah has gone missing and Jack is no closer to solving the mystery. The story here didn’t allow time for Jack to investigate his daughter’s death and wife’s disappearance. I would liked to have read more about Jack’s personal case. It’s understandable the case he was hired to do took priority but since hardly anything was mentioned about Jack’s personal case until the very end it makes me think this series could drag on forever. Jack is a nice guy and he deserves closure, but would closure for Jack mean an end for Jack the private investigator?

I don’t like that Jack contemplates suicide. I would hope he would fight and search until the very end to know what happened to his family and that he’ll be able to heal by helping other families that this may happen to. I see Jack as a strong guy that has a lot of fight and him giving up doesn’t fit his character. Helping people is what he does and I hope someone can offer him the same help.

It’s an interesting coincidence that I read this book during LGBTQ Pride month, June. Ginnie, the wife of Franklin Whitney-Cumming, the Third, hires Jack to follow her husband for proof that he is cheating as evidence that he broke the prenup agreement. It’s during this investigation that he meets the club owner Chad ‘Marilyn’ Lucas who hires Jack for security during the Drag Queen Extravaganza.

I got a little confused when the author switched names during the second half of the book. The first part of the book the name Chad was used and then during the 2nd half, the name Lucas was used.

I like how the fellows on the police force work together, and I enjoyed their humor, especially dealing with cases that could work on their mental health in a bad way. The author allows readers to see that we all heal in different ways and in various time spans and that some require a little more patience for healing after a loss. Jack’s strength to carry on each day despite how heartbroken and hopeless he feels is uplifting. I like that the author gives the details of the investigation but still leaves the reader with questions and suspense. Book 2 is an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to read book 3.

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