A few cases have made Charlie Mack question her career and life choices. Charlie is working undercover as a street person in order to catch a ruthless serial killer who has a thing for burning his victims and this has become one of her most difficult cases to date. The police aren’t showing much interest in these heinous murders because they believe homeless people are the scum of the earth and the dregs of society.
An unusual case like this doesn’t fall under Charlie and her team’s radar, however, one of the victims is her mother’s dear friend. Charlie ends up with way more questions than answers because the police are reluctant to admit that there’s rampant drug dealing in Cass Corridor, a serial killer is on the lam and a brother in blue is betraying them. This case couldn’t have come at a worse time because Charlie and Mandy are getting ready to move in together and enjoy a life of domestic bliss.
Will Charlie and her amazing team be able to catch the mastermind behind the drug cartel and the gruesome killings before more lives are lost?
Charlene “Charlie” Mack runs a lucrative private investigation firm. Her business is thriving and she is getting more work than ever and she is also looking forward to moving into a new home with her lover, Mandy. Charlie tries to keep her love life and her professional one separate but undercover work has a tendency to blur the line between the two. Charlie decides to go undercover as a homeless person so that she could find out why her mother’s friend, Eddie was immolated in Cass Corridor. I must say that I was worried for Charlie’s safety but my respect for her grew ten-fold because she ventured way outside of her comfort zone in order to find out who was responsible for the horrible murders and get justice for the victims.
Mandy Porter is a police officer and she is Charlie’s soulmate. Mandy brings a deep sense of peace and endless joy into Charlie’s life because she knows how to calm Charlie’s never ending fears and doubts about their relationship or any case she is working on. I have so much love for Mandy because I love her dry and sarcastic sense of humor and I also adore the fact that she gives her all when it comes to the people she cares about.
Bettina “Betti” Waller is a sex worker. She has been through a lot of painful circumstances yet she always finds a way to exude beauty and lightheartedness while living on the mean streets that surround Cass Corridor. I’ve got to admit there were a few times that I got extremely annoyed with Betti because of her impulsive nature and her attention seeking behavior but the more I learned about her, the more I began to understand why she acted the way she did.
The Writing Style
Cheryl A. Head has an innate ability to create stories like this one; a story that just sinks into every inch of my skin until it pierces all of the vulnerable places within me. This author brilliantly portrayed the world of the underclass, the forgotten and the displaced people of society. She has highlighted the numerous assumptions that many people make about this unprotected group and she has given them a powerful voice through the vibrant and multifaceted characters she created.
It’s not a regular thing for a nerdy accountant like myself to have the opportunity to go undercover with a badass private investigator but I did! I tagged along with Charlie and her team in Cass Corridor and boy, oh boy, do I appreciate sleeping on my comfy bed a whole lot more. I also learned a lot about the heart-breaking situations that street people have to deal with on a daily basis and I took a closer look at the many conveniences I have in my life that I take for granted.
On the surface, this story may seem as though it is a regular mystery/suspense novel but it is so much more than that because it deals with the plight of poverty, discrimination against transgender people and the importance of having a supportive network of family and friends. I can certainly say that this story has left its mark on me because I began to question and ponder over the values I uphold, the people I associate with and the things that set my soul on fire. Did I forget to mention that this phenomenal story won a coffee cup award? Well, it surely did! I got to work late more times than I would like to admit but I know that this author has mad skills when it comes to writing, so I am pretty sure that she’ll craft outstanding ready-made excuses on my behalf.
Excerpt from Catch Me When I’m Falling by Cheryl A. Head
Ernestine stared back with anticipation. “What do you think?”
“I don’t know what to think. The Detroit Free Press and the Michigan Chronicle have reported three bodies were found in the Cass Corridor.”
“It’s actually just two bodies. See the date on the Chronicle story. That’s another story about the second body the police found.”
Charlie looked at the clippings again and nodded. “I see it now. Two weeks ago. Both bodies were burned.”
“The second man was Eddie.”
“Eddie Rodriguez. Remember, he took care of me when I was lost downtown? He gave me his coat to wear.”
“Oh, right. Eddie. And who was the other guy who helped you? Uh, Reggie something.”
“Reginald McCandless. I took them both to dinner a couple of times after that.”
Charlie still felt guilty about that night. A case in Birmingham, Alabama, had kept her from the outing she and her mother had planned. When Ernestine had ventured out alone, she was accosted by two robbers who stole her purse and credit cards, drove her to a desolate part of town, and put her out on the streets. Two homeless men had kept her mother safe that night.
“How do you know one of the dead men is Eddie?”
“Reggie told me. He called last week.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Mom. I remember Eddie now. You quoted him in that opinion piece you wrote for the Free Press about the homeless population.”
“Reggie said more people have been burned to death down in that area.”
“I did some research, and those news articles were the only things I could find, but Reggie swears there have been more street people killed. So I want to ask a favor.”
“What’s that?” Charlie took a bite of biscotti and a sip of coffee.
“Would you investigate these murders to see if he’s right?”
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The Charlie Mack Motown Mystery Series
Catch Me When I’m Falling
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781612941462
- Publisher: Bywater Books
- Cheryl A. Head Online
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