Series: Jeff Trask Crime Drama #1
Published by Createspace on March 31st 2012
Genres: Crime Drama
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
A few short blocks from the safety of the museums and monuments on the National Mall, a ruthless killer prowls the streets of Washington DC. Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask joins a team of FBI agents and police detectives as they try and solve the series of brutal murders. As the body count rises, the investigation leads to a chilling confrontation with the leader of an international drug smuggling ring, and no one is safe, not even the police.
Written by former Washington prosecutor Marc Rainer, Capital Kill is a swirling thrill ride through the labyrinth of a major federal investigation and trial, with a gripping conclusion that no one will see coming.
We’re talking with author Marc Rainer about his work as a former Assistant United States Attorney, as well as where he plans to take his fictional task force in future stories.
Jeffrey Trask decided it was time to leave the Air Force Justice Department. The work was fulfilling, but the hours and the travel successfully killed his marriage. Moving to Washington D.C. and accepting a position as an Assistant United States Attorney, meant more than just a change of location. The court system in D.C. encompasses 68 square miles of madness, with the various levels of trial courts, as well as Metro Police, FBI, CIA, DEA and the like constantly trying not to step on each other toes. But Jeff thinks he is up for the task.
His boss certainly does. Robert Lassiter, Chief of the Criminal Bureau, needs more men with a trial record and the ethics of a man like Jeff Trask and he is staking is reputation pushing Trask up the ladder straight to Federal Court level.
Trask hits his first few days on the job running — straight to Court and meeting some of D.C.’s finest, Detectives Dixon “Dix” Carter and Juan Ramirez, better known about town as The Twins, bring in a 18 year old selling PCP who might know just what happened to their snitch, Junebug. Little do they know that this bust will become a case that will change their lives forever.
In this thrilling crime drama, we follow the police, the FBI, and the US Attorney’s Office as they work together through the complex D.C. legal system to bring down a dangerous drug lord who doesn’t fear getting his hands dirty and who believes that silencing snitches permanently is just an entertaining part of his job.
This is the best crime drama I have read in a long time. I loved the way we are introduced to the characters by just watching them go about their jobs. Just like in the real world the main storyline here is not the only case being worked on by any of these parties. By the end of the story, we don’t have to presume that Trask will win his case just because he’s a main character. We know he will because we have gotten to know that he is hard working and very knowledgeable. We have seen that Robert Lassiter has integrity and is more interested in doing right by the people of Washington D.C. than just furthering his career. We also learn that not everyone is a team player and that there are some more interested in getting ahead than getting dangerous criminals off the street.
This has a very Law and Order feel to it, but unlike L&O it isn’t split up into cops and lawyers. This story shows that to properly take down dangerous criminals you need a task force from the various agencies all working together for the same cause — keeping the people safe. It also shows that it’s not always about the star, it’s about the team, and sometimes even the new guy comes up with an important clue.
I was a big fan of the John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport and James Patterson’s Alex Cross, but I didn’t like that in both those stories the main character drifted away from their respective units and task forces, and were always working solo. They were following dangerous serial killers with no one backing them up, which would be insanity. Eventually I just lost interest.
I am looking forward to see where Book #2 takes us and if we will be meeting new characters as we investigate the next set of murders.
Here’s one I finally get to share with Dad. He’s going to love it.
“After the thing with Roderick Greene surfaced, I spoke with out best profiler at headquarters,” Dorez continued. “He said he’d never seen anything like this before. In his experience, most serial killers who leave calling cards are actually inviting a sordid game of Catch Me if You Can. They leave a real clue here or there, even if it’s some kind of misdirection. They try to show that they’re smarter than we are—dare us to catch them. That’s why we often see them writing us—or the media—letters, and they may even attempt to get some relationship established with one of us to personalize what they see as the game.
“This guy—our killer—is not doing any of those things. In our profiler’s opinion, he’s just spitting in our faces. He’s doing nothing at all to give us a clue—misdirection or otherwise—and believes we’re really helpless to stop him. It’s not that he wants a game. He believes he’s at war with us, and has nothing but hatred for us and his victims. That’s why he’s chosen to kill them in one of the most torturous ways possible, both mentally and physically, and that’s why he wants us to know he’s doing it—to intimidate us, his enemies.”
“Reminds me of some of the things I heard from the POWs after they came back from ‘Nam,” Lassiter said. “Some of the things the guards did at the Hanoi Hilton had nothing to do with getting information out of our guys. They just wanted them to suffer, and in some cases, die.”
“Exactly,” Doroz nodded. “What we have, guys, is a sociopathic sadist. Our profiler also said that I should warn everyone here to be extremely careful. This guy’s hatred for informants and cops means he may very well want to go down fighting and to take some of us with him.”
“Let’s not give him that opportunity,” Carter spoke in a somber tone. “He’s a problem, but he’s not worth anyone in his room going down. Let’s be smart, and as careful as our target has been.”
“If I might throw something out here,” Trask offered, “We also need to start planning to rebut an insanity defense, assuming that we’re able to take this guy alive and try him.”
“Agreed,” Lassiter said, “As well as a capital prosecution. We already have the required aggravation factors in evidence to justify a death-penalty case, even if we don’t have proof of the identify of the killer. And a capital prosecution would mean that the defense would automatically consider an insanity defense, even if we didn’t already have five murders so sadistic that a layman juror would already be thinking that the killer’s nuts.”
“So this asshole might skate because he just likes to kill. What a system.” Ramirez was walking around the room shaking his head.
Re: Marc Rainer and his 3 books:
Mr. Rainer is another Michael Connelly and more, combining first class detecting (I love Detective Bosch) with brilliant demonstration of the work of a good prosecutor. And he does that with a lot of humor too.
His narration of the power and ruthlessness of the foreing criminal gangs and Mexican cartels operating in the USA is both eye opening and frightening.
And, of course, politicians’ meddling in or interfering with police work (and the conduct of wars) has been a well known and “unsolvable “ problem making police and prosecution work often more difficult than it already is. That too is realistically pictured. That I happen to share some of Mr. Rainer’s views here only increased my enjoyment.
I am impatiently waiting for his next book.
Frank S. Mason
[…] can check out our reviews of Capital Kill and Horns of the […]