“Catch Me When I’m Falling” by Cheryl Head— Murder by Immolation

Head, Cheryl. “Catch Me When I’m Falling”, (A Charlie Mack Motown Mystery), Bywater Books, 2019.

Murder by Immolation

Amos Lassen

I can’t think of anyone who does not enjoy a good mystery and Cheryl Head knows how to serve them up. I have a bit of problem with mysteries however—I have to watch myself carefully so I do not give anything away and that limits how much I can tell about a book. I am letting you know in advance that I will be sketch with Cheryl Head’s “Catch Me When I Am Falling”.

We learn that homeless people in Detroit’s Cass Corridor are being killed by immolation.  Normally (I hate this word but I can’t fit another to fit) crimes of this nature do not come to Charlie Mack and her team of investigators, but we learn that one of the burned bodies is her mother’s friend.

This is also a special case because there is so much wrong about it. While it seems to be the work of a serial killer, the police refuse to admit that there is a serial killer is on the loose. Then there is the issue that drug trafficking and the deaths are side by side and there is a rogue cop  involved. The timing for all of this is not good for Charlie since she and her partner Mandy are finally moving in together.  Charlie has to transform herself into a street person to mix with the gangs that populate Cass Corridor. There are also good people, poor people, the homeless all existing side by side with the gangs. Charlie is determined to find evidence the police can’t ignore.

So that is as much as I can tell you about the plot. I can tell you that Cheryl Head is a proud daughter of Detroit and you cannot help but sense that. I also love that she dedicated this book to Aretha Franklin, a fellow Detroit daughter. But what I love the most is turning the pages as quickly as possible to find out what is happening next and whether my detective skills are any good (they are not).

On the sell sheet that came with the review copy, I found myself being quoted about Cheryl Head. It says, “I do not remember ever having written a review that I entitled simply, “Wow!” Now I have to say “Wow! Wow!). Head’s writing is special and has a style that keeps you reading and characters that are too real and too big for the printed page.

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