[Publicity Push is a new feature highlighting a book, or a series of books. It is intended to introduce something interesting and new—without the necessity of writing a specific review.]
Robert J. Randisi writes in both the Western and mystery genres. He writes, under the name J. R. Roberts, The Gunsmith adult Western series and The Rat Pack mystery series—featuring the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. in supporting roles. I previously reviewed two Rat Pack novels: Luck Be a Lady, Don’t Die and The Way You Die Tonight.
In 1995 Mr. Randisi introduced a series character named Joe Keough—an NYPD homicide detective—in Alone with the Dead. The series ran five books, and Joe Keough, much like his creator, moved from New York to St. Louis for books two through five. The series has received critical praise—
“This is top-notch suspense, right from the chilling prologue to the brutal conclusion.” –Publishers Weekly on Alone with the Dead
“Another exceptionally entertaining and riveting mystery from genre stalwart Randisi.” –Booklist on East of the Arch
“Set in St Louis, this efficient, no-nonsense mystery doesn't waste a phrase or a plot turn.” –Publishers Weekly on Blood on the Arch
“Randisi also writes successful series featuring Miles Jacoby and Nick Delvecchio, but Keough--analytical, intelligent, and emotionally vulnerable--could easily become the author's most enduring, endearing character.” – Booklist on In the Shadow of the Arch
Perfect Crime Books reissued each of the Joe Keough novels in paperback and ebook editions. The ebook editions are a scant $2.99, which is well worth the high quality entertainment. The novels are below—if you click the title you will be transported to each book’s Amazon page—with the publisher’s brief description and the first paragraph from each novel.
Publisher’s description: New York cop Joe Keough races against time to crack the case of a serial killer who leaves a flower with each victim. Battling publicity-minded bureaucrats in his own department, Keough is convinced that he has to catch not one psycho but two . . . and the copycat killer is crazier than the original.
First paragraph: Kopykat opened the album.
Publisher’s description: Joe Keough, a transplanted New York cop, signs on with a small St. Louis area police department just in time to track a psycho who chooses his victims from among young mothers frequenting local shopping malls. Meanwhile there is the perplexing case of a toddler who has walked into the police station leaving bloody footprints. So much for Keough's new life in the tranquil Midwest.
First paragraph: He picked summer to start, because the young mothers wore shorts and sundresses in the summer. They walked through the malls, thinking nothing of showing acres of firm, young flesh. In fact, he had one spotted right now. She was blond, in her twenties, walking through the mall holding a young child by the hand. The child was a girl, also blond, about six or seven.
Publisher’s description: When an influential politician and businessman is murdered, St. Louis police detective Joe Keough takes on a high-powered case that drags a lot of local dirt into the daylight. Dodging a trumped-up sexual harassment charge, Keough races to track down a professional assassin who has more targets on his to-do list--and to find the evil mastermind behind the bloodletting.
First paragraph: The sky was filled with kites of all sizes, shapes, and colors. It was the Forest Park Festival of Kites, the first one Keough had attended since moving to St. Louis a little over nine months ago.
Publisher’s description: A monstrous killer is piling up the bodies of pregnant women along the Mississippi, and St. Louis cop Joe Keough is saddled with a female clerk and a Mark Twain-quoting young sidekick as his "task force" as he sets out to stop the slaughter. Fighting him every step of the way are two Internal Affairs cops bent on destroying Keough's career regardless of the cost.
First paragraph: The Mississippi River annually deposits four hundred and six million tons of mud into the Gulf of Mexico, causing one famous riverboat captain to dub it “The Great Sewer.” It is then reasonable to assume that, should one dump a body into the river—a body that one did not want found—it would end up mixed in with all that mud, never to be seen again.
Publisher’s description: In the fifth Joe Keough mystery, Keough and his partner Harriet Connors working on a federal task force confront serial murders of children in Chicago and St. Louis. Is one killer at work or two? Keough and Connors plunge into a world of insanity and evil, and the clock is ticking.