Detective Everett Larkin of New York City's Cold Case Squad has been on medical leave since catching the serial killer responsible for what the media has dubbed the "Death Mask Murders." But Larkin hasn't forgotten that another memento—another death—is waiting to be found.
Summer brings the grisly discovery of human remains in the subway system, but the clues point to one of Larkin's already-open cases, so he resumes active duty. And when a postmortem photograph, akin to those taken during the Victorian Era, is located at the scene, Larkin requests aid from the most qualified man he knows: Detective Ira Doyle of the Forensic Artists Unit.
An unsolved case that suffered from tunnel vision, as well as the deconstruction of death portraits, leads Larkin and Doyle down a rabbit hole more complex than the tunnels beneath Manhattan. And if this investigation isn't enough, both are struggling with how to address the growing intimacy between them. Because sometimes, love is more grave than murder.
“Subway Slayings” is the second novel in the “Memento Mori” series by C.S. Poe. I highly suggest reading the first novel “Madison Square Murders” that introduces Detective Everett Larkin and Detective Ira Doyle.
Everett “Evie” Larkin is an expert in the Cold Case Squad for the NYPD. His confidence and HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory) works against him at times and it doesn’t help that he always feels that “no one want’s to know or care”. He feels he doesn’t have the ability to socialize or schmooze and being very direct are never his intention to be mean. Currently, he’s in the middle of a divorce from Noah Rider. Noahs not physically abusive but mentally it’s destroyed their relationship. He’s never really accepted Larkin’s HSAM nor does he try. With his HSAM Larkin is always faced with the tragedy of his past and he still grieves.
Detective Ira Doyle, is just a great guy. He’s got a great personality, friendly and likes to joke. He’s an expert at the 1PP as a Forensic Artist. Each profile sketch is exact and important to him. He’s battling his own grief and guilt from the past and there’s still things that Doyle has not spoken of. He’s opened his home and his heart to Everett, who he lovingly calls Evie, and gradually changes start to happen.
As their emotions run high, Everett hides a secret from Ira, that developed after the Death Mask Murders. All that will have to wait, as they become immersed in a cold case that’s twenty-three years old. A young man at the time, Marco Garcia, was killed in the NY subway and his case was never solved. Now with another death in the dark and garbage ridden subway tunnels, it will open up a twisted world of more deaths. Will Everett and Ira solve the cold case and face the ugliness of it? Will Everett ever find who is continuing to provoke him?
With the first book “Madison Square Murder” I didn’t quite feel the heavy and raw emotions that C.S. Poe has brought out in “Subway Sayings”. This one is definitely a heart breaker with Everett Larkin still feeling “no one want’s to know or care” and his thoughts about not being social and how others perceive him as being cold. Ira Doyle is his life saver. He expresses to Everett that, he’s not unfeeling and his voice isn’t monotone and he really has the capability to show emotion in his own way. Ira sees so much more in Everett. Everett starts to see that Ira also carries the weight of grievance. As Everett fights with his addiction to Xanax, he has the best person to see him through, as Ira has fought and beat his own addiction with alcoholism. Eventually, Everett even starts to make little jokes and it’s all because of Ira.
“Subway Slayings” is also a very precise, plotted out mystery as it relates to Everett Larkin’s HSAM. As Everett has instant recall of dates and times of all possible situations that have occurred. The vivid descriptions into the dark tunnels and hiding places of the NYC subway is definitely frightening. There’s also homophobia that still exists on the force that Doyle and Larkin have to deal with. As for the characters, C.S. Poe has really brought out their true emotions and personalities.
From the “Snow & Winter” series, Neil Millett is still making his mark in the “Memento Mori” series. He brings humor and snark to balance out the seriousness of the story. It will be interesting to see how his own personal life will develop.
I will give Noah Rider a mention. He and Everett are getting a divorce and it really brings out Noah’s immaturity and self-centeredness. Just the way he talks and yells at Everett reflects the mental abuse that Everetts been dealing with.
“Subway Slayings” is power packed with action, suspense and danger. I think, there’s still many secrets that haven’t been revealed about Larkin and Doyle. “Subway Slayings” is an excellent read, in the way of murder mysteries, with two very unique characters. In my opinion, C.S. Poe created an outstanding, tear-jerker of a novel. I can’t even imagine what C.S. Poe will bring readers with this third novel “Broadway Butchery”.
An Old Mystery within a New Mystery
Subway Slayings by C.S. Poe Detectives Everett Larkin and Ira Doyle are back with a new mystery within an old mystery. Larkin is trying to solve the 23 year old Garcia case when he receives a mysterious note tugging him towards the subway where Garcia died. While working on solving a new old mystery, Larkin and Doyle are in the midst of navigating their friendship and slowly dancing towards more. I loved this sequel in the Memento Mori series where Poe mixes Mystery, History and romance into fine art and has you asking for more.