Retired Police Captain Reviews “Psychic Reprieve” — Mitchell Nevin’s Wisconsin-Based Crime Novel

psy cover

Mitchell Nevin’s new novel, Psychic Reprieve: Deception & Reality, weaves a story of three men who had the misfortune of being convicted of felony crimes, but the good fortune of ending up as cellmates in a federal minimum security prison camp, where they became close friends.  One was Raunold Choquet, aka: “R.C.,” who had lived with his grandparents in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, after his mother’s murder. R.C. had a promising future as the closer for the Milwaukee State college baseball team.  His other cellmates included a former Chicago police sergeant (Gannon Burke) and a small-time identity thief (Luigi Fabriano), who forged identification papers in St Paul.

A college baseball team hazing prank goes bad, which results with R.C. being charged with a federal offense and imprisoned because of the political nature of the crime.  After a beating by a group of other inmates, R.C. develops that ability to see into the future, which leads to the successful clearances of several major crimes, including the arrest of a serial killer.  The manner in which Mitchell Nevin injects these “visions” reminds me of the old television series from the late 50s/early 60s—The Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond.

Gannon Burke, having been convicted of a public corruption charges, and Luigi befriend R.C.  After their release from prison, the trio develops a scheme to profit from R.C.’s clairvoyant powers while working in at Drina’s Pasta Palace, an Italian restaurant in downtown Eau Claire.

As in his first book, The Cozen Protocol, Mitchell Nevin worked his knowledge of internal police operations; criminal investigations, high-tech government surveillance, and the politics of a prosecution into the story in a way that is informative as well as entertaining.  In Psychic Reprieve: Deception & Reality, Nevin again melds his familiarity of law enforcement procedures into a fictional story, which makes it easy for the reader to form a mental picture and enjoy the plot. The perspectives of each of the main characters, as well as the way in which the author sets-up their encounters with law enforcement and other antagonists, is interesting to say the least.

Psychic Reprieve has several scenes that occur in Milwaukee.  A few of the hazing pranks initiated by the players on the Milwaukee State baseball team are good for a few laughs.  Some of those who have served on the MPD in the past might recognize these events.  Other major portions of the novel occur in Eau Claire, including one scene where a mano-a-mano showdown takes place during a gentlemen’s bet between R.C. and the power hitting first basemen of the Eau Claire Rail Splitters.  The bet, set-up by the crew at the Pasta Palace,  is to determine if the stellar pitcher can get the college conference player out in one at bat.

On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, I would give Psychic Reprieve and “8” for the following reasons:  perhaps the best fictional books I have ever read were those by the late Vince Flynn. Hence, his work product is the standard by which I compare other novels when rendering an opinion.  Psychic Reprieve—filled with witty one-liners—had a different type of plot and focus than I expected, and that gave the novel a twist that I found very interesting.

Checkout Psychic Reprieve at Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/178-0556010-7603202?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%22psychic%20reprieve%22

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Glenn D. Frankovis, a retired Milwaukee Police Department captain and district commander (1975-2004), is the author of a soon-to-be released book involving urban policing strategies.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013

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