The St. Paul Conspiracy

The St. Paul Conspiracy - Roger Stelljes So, after reading the novella that started it all, I read the first book in the series. And it didn't disappoint. I'm glad that I had the background of that novella, though; Mac's divorce made more sense, as did his detective partner and the background surrounding Mac and the police department.The only real puzzle to me was, how much time has passed since that novella in real-time? It's hard to gauge, since there was mention that Mac graduated law school, then joined the force and paid his dues as a policeman before becoming a detective. Is he supposed to be a detective for 4 years now or has it been 4 years since he's been on the force? His divorce is far enough in the past that his buddies are wondering why Mac hasn't gotten himself a girl by now. And Mac's obviously sold the old Victorian in the great, upscale neighborhood and settled into an apartment not far from that house. Again, not real biggies, but curiosity.ANYWAY, this book starts on Halloween, with the murder of a beautiful, popular news reporter who specializes in investigative reporting. She also happens to be dating one of the Minnesota senators, who's still married.At first, it seemed odd that the author gave us the inside scoop to the fact that the senator isn't behind Claire Daniels' murder, but rather a shadowy group of mercs who work for ... someone connected. But we don't know who or why. I did pick up on the fact that another murder happened that same night, though, and the way that the other murder went down. So when Mac realizes that the two are connected, I was already there. But *what* is the connection and *who* is behind it? And *who* is the leak - is it someone on the force, in the chief's office (even the chief), or someone else connected to these cases? And how much does that person know? Is that person simply passing on information or involved?Mac is put on the Claire Daniels' case as the lead, which means a lot of visibility for him. If he "wins", it's a big win for his career; if he fails, his career could also tank. Especially since the police are under a lot of heat, because a serial killer is taking out women, almost one a week, and the police still don't have a prime suspect.But Mac thinks the solution to the Daniels case is too easy. Maybe he's over thinking it? Then, he's assigned to the serial killer case, and a very small thing puts Mac and the squad onto a lead that pans out. They know who the serial killer is. Problem is, once they catch him and see his "trophies", Mac realizes that one of the victims isn't chronicled....After a bit of digging, Mac discovers that the unaccounted for victim and Claire Daniels have a connection - they went to the same small town high school. But did the victim pass information to Claire that got them both killed? If so, WHAT? And who is behind this all? Obviously someone well connected, with lots of power and man-power, and lots of money.Can Mac get the evidence he needs to figure out who's behind all of this? Is there really a connection - or just coincidence?------------------Lots to like about this book. Not sure if I like Sally or not, but that's neither here nor there.These books get into the down and dirty without getting down and dirty. There aren't graphic descriptions of murders and victims or bedroom play - just enough that you get the idea, while leaving plenty to the imagination. And that works for this character and this series.