Book Review: Signal 30

J.T. Twerell’s Signal 30 is a riveting mystery thriller that brings the reader into the story with huge amounts of lively detail and pinpoint character descriptions.

The plot development is distinctly unique and innovative as each character enters the story amidst his own conflict, which is intricately woven into the main conflict itself. In other words, there are multiple climactic moments that keep the reader interested, which is absolutely critical for a mystery novel. Twerell, through the pace of the plot and sentence structure, conveys a deep sense of foreboding and destruction, for which the characters are just play pieces.

The story revolves around the main character, Shane Murphy, who is a senior officer with Special Case investigations. At age forty, he is still going strong, pursuing crime with precision. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about his family life with a pending divorce on the horizon. At the core of the novel is a bomb blast, which, it seems, sets itself off. The perpetrator has performed the job to perfection, resulting in a whirlwind of an investigation by detectives and police alike.

The story also includes Stacy Landou, a thirty-eight year old Special Agent with Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Her no nonsense approach to police work coupled with her sensitivity makes her an endearing character. Reporter Jackie Simmons, who always finds the lead story, no matter what it takes, and Chief Reilley round out the list of principal characters.

What’s most impressive about this book is the way each character is developed and the level of mental conflict created for each character. The characters in this book will do whatever it takes to get the job done. The overlying theme in this novel is essentially the complexity of a police investigation and the changing variables that come into play until the resolution of the investigation is reached. Undoubtedly, Signal 30 is a must read for fans of the “cop novel” as well as for general mystery and suspense aficionados.

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