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Murder of Necessity (Gibb Bohannon, #1) by Doug McNicol 

The body count rises as a master manipulator eludes detection and capture. 

Murder of Necessity is the debut novel in author Doug McNicol’s compelling new Gibb Bohannon mystery series. Set in Toronto and surrounding areas, Gibb and his partner, both veteran police detectives, race to apprehend a murderous former priest who taunts them with cryptic messages hinting at his next moves while the number of his victims steadily rises. 

Gibb Bohannon had been an investigative powerhouse, rising quickly through the ranks to attain his coveted position in the homicide division. He never made a misstep until defrocked priest, Francis Aratori, challenges him head-to-head to try and stop his vicious killing spree. You could almost see Bohannon’s ‘golden boy’ self-image tarnish as the former priest remained one step ahead and the body count rose. He attains a vulnerability he hadn’t displayed earlier. His on-again, off-again relationship with his best friend, Sharon, was an interesting subplot, and I look forward to how that will evolve in the future, especially in light of how things stood at the end of this novel. 

The working conditions for Bohannon and his fellow detectives were portrayed with a realism not often shown in other police procedural-type mysteries. Detectives don’t have the luxury of focusing on only one case at a time, and this comes into evidence when Bohannon and his partner pick up another team’s work, and others are pulled off what they’re working on to back them up. 

In this serial killer priest case, they are dealing with a Moriarity level of crazy. Clues led off in unusual directions, and answers came from unexpected sources, such as the Caravaggio connection. The story unfolds from multiple points of view, the detectives’ and the serial killer’s, giving the reader an inside track  on the characters’ thoughts and plans. However, shocking plot twists still multiplied the suspense and kept the storyline taut, and the action fast paced. The chapters are perfectly sized for comfortable reading, but I was compelled to keep reading this story from its breathtaking opening to its surprising and very satisfying ending. 

I recommend MURDER OF NECESSITY to mystery readers, especially those who enjoy a fast pace and high suspense. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.

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