books, reviews

Book Review: Trial of the Lovebird Butcher – Lumen Reese

In New Haven, Connecticut, a decades-old cold case resurfaces. As charges are brought, the details grow stranger and stranger…

An antiquities dealer and amateur children’s magician named Edward Fox is charged with three murders, dating back to the 1980’s, when he should have been only a child. Fox is a wanderer and a fall-down drunk. The case’s unnatural timeline combined with one alleged victim’s status as a teen beauty queen set the stage for the State of Connecticut v. Fox to become the trial of the century.

Maggie Stowe -insomniac, Private Investigator, dream thief- has been following Fox for months. She is a crusader for women and girls and can still hear them screaming in Fox’s dreams every night. But reality has begun to blur for the exhausted Maggie. Soon she is unsure of anything except for the fact that she’s a pawn in a perilous game.

Defender Ben Cartwright -the son of a murdered civil rights activist- knows to never take justice for granted. To him, the case reeks of prosecutorial overreach. All three counts are alleged murders without cadavers, linked to his client by circumstantial evidence rooted out by an obsessive PI with a direct line to her girlfriend at the State’s Attorney’s Office. Edward insists that Ben is the man to defend him. Never mind that he’s young, or only just passed the Bar, or that he speaks a bit slowly because his mind works differently than most people’s.

The trial becomes a battle of wills. A jury and a nation are asked to consider -as the evidence strongly suggests- that Fox has been around and interfering with the lives of humans for a very long time; back to the Depression-era streets of Chicago, through decades with a traveling circus, and during the Selma to Montgomery marches that took place in Alabama, 1965…

Goodreads Smashwords

Lumen Reese is a an author of diverse fantasy, sci-fi, historical and speculative fiction from Michigan.

My thoughts: this is a strange book, the plot is far from simple and explaining it might be a bit tricky. Women are turned into birds, several men live far longer lifespans than normal and might be some sort of vampire, teenage girls keep disappearing, and a PI can experience other people’s dreams.

Edward Fox is a magician – as in has literal magic powers and not just performs sleight of hand illusions. He’s also at least 100 years old. He’s lived enough life for many people and has tried to help others whenever he can. But now it’s come back on him as he’s arrested for kidnap and possible murder of three young women over several decades. It gets stranger from there as he goes on trial.

There are layers of story, slowly peeled back by both Fox and the witnesses on the stand. His life and theirs are revealed to an increasingly astonished jury and judge. His own lawyer is also entangled in Fox’s history and that was just confusing. I don’t really know how Fox does some of the things he’s claimed to do and I finished the book with many questions. A really brain twister.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for a review but all opinions remain my own.

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