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Three and one half moon gifAvon Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-380-78954-X
A duffer searching for his golf ball discovers a dead man lying on a bed of twigs and leaves. Seems as if one of Los Angeles' homeless met his death through natural causes. But something bothers Homicide Detective Jessica Drake, preventing her from accepting the "logical conclusion."  

Book: Rochelle Krich, Blood MoneyIn Rochelle Krich's police procedural, Blood Money, Jessica follows the clues to a local retirement home where she uncovers the deceased's identity and his connection to other murders. All the murder victims share one thing in common. Ironically, all were Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. Orphans in the truest sense of the word, these individuals represent the last living remnant of their families. They survived the atrocities of places such as Auschwitz, Belzec, Sobobor, Treblinka and Dachau only to face death in their old age at the hands of some maniac.  

But who wants to kill these survivors? What else can be taken from them? Hitler's Germany already stole their treasures and their families. Or, maybe a new vein of riches awaits plundering. 

Book: Rochelle Krich, Dead AirJessica digs deeper but discovers the more she learns, the less she knows. Her murder victim keeps secrets, and to unlock those secrets, Jessica must immerse herself in the Holocaust's awful truths. These truths bring Jessica face to face with the newly uncovered history of her own family and her battle to accept or reject her own Jewish roots.  

The counterpoint story concerning Jessica's newfound Jewish history reflects Krich's own experiences. At age 13, the author discovered that her father lost a family -- a wife and two daughters -- who died in Auschwitz. This revelation and the subsequent stories her father shared of his former life inform much of Blood Money.  

The author maintains quality prose and descriptions comparable to her award-winning novel Fertile Ground. In this book, Krich paints a vivid portrait of elderly survivors living each day with the painful reminders of dead loved ones and lost lifestyles. Krich also shows generations reaching out and trusting each other in a common goal of saving lives and solving mysteries. The survivors' heart-warming characterizations give insight into the life and fortitude of the elderly.  

Krich spins a vitally important tale, a rare tapestry of story threads woven together with a masterful control of both the mystery and the story telling. She keeps her readers guessing till the final ironic twist -- a twist that satisfies the most demanding mystery buff. 

Dawn Goldsmith

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