“Justice Betrayed” by Patricia Bradley is the third book in the “Memphis Cold Case” series. Any series set in Memphis must eventually delve into its famous resident, Elvis Presley. Bradley combines a riveting mystery with some fun facts about the Elvis Week that includes a tribute contest.
Homicide Detective Rachel Sloan must endure interviewing an Elvis impersonator, Vic Vegas, who wants her to look into the death of his friend, another impersonator that happened years ago. He entices her by claiming that his death is related to her mother’s murder, which has never been solved. After Vic turns up dead, she and her supervisor, Lt. Boone Callahan, join forces to find out who killed Vic and if there are any ties to the past cases. What they discover places all of them, particularly Rachel, in harm’s way.
This is not the first time they have worked together. In the previous book, “Justice Buried,” they joined forces, she a burglary detective, while he was a homicide detective. Their relationship went beyond professional when they dated for a few weeks. Now that she has switched to homicide, with Boone as her supervisor, any relationship between them is prohibited. Even though they still seem to have a chemistry between them their painful past history must be sorted out before they have any chance at reconciliation.
Each character must deal with the guilt they felt, blaming themselves for a loved ones’ death.
“I based that guilt on me,” Bradley said. “When I was in sixth grade, I had a friend whose father murdered her and her mother. I was supposed to have a sleepover that night but canceled. I always felt if I had gone maybe I could have done something. In the story, Rachel felt that way also. Maybe if she was home she could have prevented her mother from being murdered.”
Boone struggles with the death of a comrade that he fought alongside in the Iraq War. Bradley wants to give a shout out to all veterans, “I have a friend who has had three tours of duty in Afghanistan. I also knew the book was going to come out about a week after Memorial Day. We call it Decoration Day in the South. Many go to the graves and place flowers after cleaning up the graveyard for those who paid the ultimate price. I think many of us take our soldiers for granted. They have given up and sacrificed so much for us. My friend who is serving told me that he must leave his family for a year without seeing them. I think many of us do not understand how the soldiers are away from their loved ones, as civilians we have no idea. Many times, we fail to let them know how we appreciate their service.”
This book has it all: well-developed characters, a chilling mystery and the re-emergence of Elvis.