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A Good Kill


A Good Kill

A GOOD KILL, following the critically acclaimed THE GOOD DETECTIVE and THE EVIL MEN DO, marks the return of P.T. Marsh, author John McMahon’s troubled police detective. Over the course of the first two books in the series, Marsh endured the modern-day equivalent of the trials of Job. The comparison is apt, given that he has continued to persevere in his job with the police force of rural Mason Falls, Georgia, despite experiencing difficult professional and devastating personal setbacks. A GOOD KILL wraps up a couple of plot threads that have been left dangling from books one and two, though not without causing Marsh some additional problems that may carry over into the future.

"[McMahon] is a solid and dependable writer whose character-driven, page-turning stories keep the reader involved with plenty of plot twists and expert pacing."

The book opens with the Mason Falls police force having to deal with an active shooter situation at a middle school. It is Marsh who resolves the matter with extreme prejudice, though not before a teacher is killed. He takes the necessary action at the urging of Georgia governor Toby Monroe, who has done him a solid or two in the past. Monroe is running for reelection, and the swift resolution of this unfortunate incident gives him the opportunity to quickly get the news off of the front page. The motive of the gunman, a failed journalist named Jed Harrington, remains a puzzle and is initially more or less filed away as unknowable. Still, it haunts Marsh throughout the book and ultimately figures in one of its major plotlines…and beyond.

Meanwhile, Marsh is immediately put on another case. An automobile has been found on a local road with two individuals murdered, execution-style, in the front seat. A GOOD KILL is worth reading just for the procedural elements that are involved in the investigation of this double homicide, which winds up going far beyond the Mason Falls city limits. Through Marsh, McMahon provides some interesting information regarding a recent evolution in firearm manufacturing, as well as the pros, cons, whys and wherefores that accompany it.

Additionally, Marsh has cause to revisit a closed, unsolved case that boomerangs into the present. This leads to a couple of dramatic confrontations that open old wounds for him and inflict new ones, while introducing a character who figures prominently in the novel and may be featured in future installments.

It is all but certain that Marsh will be back for at least one more book, even as McMahon has indicated that he is working on a new series starring a different protagonist. He is a solid and dependable writer whose character-driven, page-turning stories keep the reader involved with plenty of plot twists and expert pacing. If you are looking for a thriller series with attention to detail, you should check out McMahon and Marsh.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on June 18, 2021

A Good Kill
by John McMahon

  • Publication Date: June 15, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0593328361
  • ISBN-13: 9780593328361