John Case is the pseudonym of an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of two nonfiction books about the U.S. intelligence community. A resident of Washington, D.C., he is the proprietor of a company that specializes in international investigations for law firms and labor unions.
YA‘The action in this suspenseful novel shifts from a picturesque hill town in Italy, to the streets of Rome, to a suburb of Washington, DC, and finally to its climax on a remote island in Maine. Joe Lassiter takes a leave of absence from his high-tech investigation agency to search for the murderer of his only sister and her son. He soon finds himself analyzing a string of other unsolved murders of mothers and their young sons, all of whom stayed at a fertility clinic in Italy. A physician renowned for his success at artificial insemination, a rural priest with a terrible secret revealed in confession, and the charismatic leader of a conservative Catholic organization all provide clues that lead Joe to the one person who can help him solve the mystery. This fast-paced thriller will draw YAs into some interesting questions concerning the use of DNA material and the ethics of genetic engineering, and will provide them with fascinating insights into the uses of modern investigative techniques.‘Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Joe Lassiter is devastated when his sister Kathy and her young son Brandon are brutally murdered and the killer escapes from a guarded hospital room. Joe, who owns a transnational investigative firm, takes on the case himself. The trail leads him to a conservative Roman Catholic order, a genetics researcher turned medical doctor, a fertility clinic, and a priest in an Italian mountain village before he discovers the reason for the deaths of Kathy, Brandon, and others. After repeated attempts on his life, Joe finds a reclusive former actress with whom he will face the final showdown. An intriguing premise, diverse European locales, and lots of nail-biting action make this a compelling thriller. Dick Hill's narration is emotionally expressive and well paced; he handles a variety of European accents with ease. Listeners will find it hard to turn off this production. Recommended for all fiction collections.‘Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, N.C.
After hearing the confession of a renowned scientist who is now dying, the pastor of a remote parish in the Umbrian region of Italy rushes to Rome to alert the Vatican powers of an unspeakable sin. Within months, Joe Lassiter, a D.C.-area detective, learns of the brutal deaths of his sister, Kathy, and her toddler son, Brandon, in a mysterious fire in their home in suburban Burke, Va., in which an unknown Italian arsonist was also horribly burned. While Joe and the D.C. police keep watch on the burn victim, Brandon's body is dug from its grave and set afire again. After this horror, Joe discovers that Kathy and Brandon were only two of 34 victims worldwide, all mothers and toddler boys, killed in their beds and then burned beyond recognition. They were all connected through an Umbrian fertility clinic run by a scientist and theologian who, not unexpectedly, is himself now dead, his clinic a pile of ashes. At the center of this international carnage looms Umbra Domini, Shadow of the Lord, an ultra-secret Roman Catholic fraternity. At great risk, Joe sets out to save the one woman and child who have so far escaped Umbra's reach and in doing so discovers the staggering truth about these slaughtered innocents. Case, an investigative reporter, writes with intelligence and flair. He has built a first-rate thriller with an astonishingly timely revelation that's well worth staying up late for. (Apr.)