Blood Moon Rising, by Richard Conrath. Gulf Shore Press. 414 pages. Trade Paperback $14.99.
This is the second installment in Mr. Conrath’s Cooper Mystery Series, following “Cooper’s Moon.” A third installment is expected. The story line for “Blood Moon Rising” continues to follow the protagonist’s despair over the disappearance of his young son, Maxie, who was abducted or otherwise lost at the age of seven. His eight-year quest to find Maxie has faltered, and his marriage has collapsed. However, he has become dedicated to and skilled in missing persons crime detection.
Indeed, Cooper had resigned his university teaching job, relocated from Ohio to Florida, became a homicide detective for the Miami Police Department, and then a private detective.
The present action opens when a call from his former teaching colleague, Jackson, who asks for help. Jackson tells Cooper that he’s the major suspect in a missing person case involving one of his female students who has vanished – and with whom he had been intimate.
Now Cooper is plunged into confronting the human trafficking marketplace, with his lost son always on his mind. The self-imposed assignment first takes him back to Ohio where he picks up some of the help that he needs. Then back to Florida for more support, featuring former co-workers on the Miami PD.
He is by now well aware of an international market in body parts removed by unscrupulous surgeons. Such enterprises, which have Russian mob involvement, include tricking those desperate for money to be test cases in pharmaceutical experiments that might be deadly.
Aside from his crew of old friends from Ohio and Florida, Cooper’s team includes Leo Federovich, the grandfather of a missing university student, who understands the Russian mob scene through his former role as a KGB agent. . . .
To explore the full review, as it appears in the January 1, 2020 Fort Myers, Charlotte County and Venice Florida Weekly, and the January 2 Palm Beach and Bonita Springs editions, click here: Blood Moon Rising