By: Behcet Kaya
Reviewed by: Tripti Kandari
Review Date: June 20, 2022
Bechet Kaya’s book four in the Jack Ludefance series, Murder in Buckhead, follows PI Jack's all-action mysteries proceedings, resonates with the author's knotty narrative, sparkling characters, and the ever-still place of realism as to the basic human aspirations.
Buckhead, a district within Atlanta that boasts many high-end residences and businesses, is the scene of the discovery of a body. As the meticulous detective Shamir Turner assesses the circumstances of the alleged suicide of Casey Ray Olmsted, the son of the influential US Senator Bartholomew Jeremie Olmsted, he is certain of foul play (all shreds of evidence are contrary to the suicide claim). In the wake of Senator Olmsted's request not to proceed with the investigation of his son's death (since it’s a suicide), Turner has no choice but to do nothing (well, just officially...). Meanwhile, in his mid-40s, private investigator Jack Ludefance from Florida receives a phone call from Scarlet Olmsted asking him to look into the ‘real’ deed behind his son Casey's death. Blaire Olmsted, Casey's widower, issues a second exhortation, pleading with Ludefance to probe the senator (her father-in-law) who is after her life.
Amidst the seemingly well-heeled proceedings of the murder-mystery investigation, Ludefance makes some unexpected discoveries about the case that goes against his reasoning. Blaire puzzles him with her switch between slyly seductive innuendos and her innocent persona, genuinely concerned about the senator and the threats he makes (a devious diva or an innocent suspect?). Additionally, not only has Blaire become a thorn in the motive of concealing the true story behind Casey's death, but Jack has also become part of the follow-ups and death threats. In a bind, Ludefance must deal with two situations that both get in the way of the corrupt and wicked Senator, who believes in getting rid of any weeds that might stand in the way of his objectives. With Rudy, the young expert hacker, Turner, the ever-ardent detective, and many incidental characters on board, the plot follows Jack’s adventure to unravel the mysterious death of Casey – suicide or murder, or is there an entirely different angle to the case?
Through the luxury settings of Atlanta, the criminal underworld, and (not to overlook) the various eateries and human basic appetites for delicacies and meals, the author weaves an interesting tale that goes beyond a mere murder mystery riddle. All of the characters reveal their true selves in their own sexuality, backgrounds, and social positions, whether expressing natural human passion, appetite, or wrestling with their inner conflicts. Despite being a minor force behind the propagation of the murder mystery, the plot's plethora of characters, including Rudy with his subtle fatherly relationship with Jack, Cindy, Jack's sexual interest, as well as Turner and County Sheriff Lawson (aka Hiker), the ideal professionals and boon companions, provide enrichment to the plot with their unique presence and personalities.
Quill says: Murder in Buckhead is a murder mystery that rumbles with unpredictable clues across multiple locales, and a constant rhythm of expectations that surprises at every turn.