Monday, February 13, 2012


              Eyes of the Cold Case Killers
               Author: Charles Toftoy

There are many cold cases out there that have not been solved. There are many police officers working to bring those criminals who are still at large to justice. Some killers feel the stink of remorse as they go about their daily lives others find true happiness and joy knowing they might have gotten away with a heinous crime. Lars Neilson is a college professor and the head of Alpha Team whose uncover work helps solve these cold cases. What happens to trigger him into action is terrifying as he receives a letter from a close friend after taking her own life. The events that follow are bone chilling and delivered as only Dr. Charles Toftoy the author of its In the Eyes can.

Lars Nielsen receives a phone call that will start a chain reaction so deadly it will make you more then shudder. Belissa Hawthorne could not cope with life anymore and decided to take her own ending her torment and pain. But, when Lars receives the disturbing phone call from the Chief of Police he’s told that what appears to be a suicide just might be a murder. Contacting her family and explaining her final wishes to exclude them from the funeral everything is set in place. Leaving very specific instructions for her funeral and reading her suicide note, Lars immediately contacts the Alpha Team. Nothing remarkable occurs at the funeral but the Brazilian Ambassador approaches him before leaving.

But, the investigation has yet to heat up as one man going by the name Taurus terrorizes a Target and claims to have placed four C4 bombs within the store sending the manager on high alert, leaving a detailed description of how it would go down and frightening an entire town. But, it gets even worse. As the Chief of the Fire Department is killed in broad daylight for a remark he made regarding the killer and the Alpha Team and their new additions are on the case along with FBI consultant Carl Mercer and many more. As author Charles Toftoy introduces each member of the Alpha Team and the new interns he explains the investigative process in detail, allows the reader to understand the mind and actions of a serial killer and how a good investigation is handled from start to finish. What makes this novel and story unique is how he intermingles real life cold case investigation into the work of Lars and his team. Even more as Lars remembers his training and his visions of Kali come through helping to guide his thinking and actions throughout the novel.

Instilling fear is one way this killer feels powerful and becomes excited and leaving him imprint of the victims or on a letter is his way of getting noticed. But, when Washington Post Reporter Brenda Little does not recognize him in her article he becomes angry and seeks vengeance.

 Taurus is a personality according to astrology thought to be calm and peaceful. But, as we learn from our murderer and killer when angered and aroused his temper can ignite and sparks will fly and spread faster than the lava from an active volcano or a third alarm fire. Disturbed by sudden changes, preferring everything to be uniform and under his control, those born within this sign or in this case the killer are persevering strong people that make the term bull headed seem tame. Goal oriented in his method of killing and definitely relishing in the aftermath this is one killer that the Alpha team will be relentless in pursuing.

Throughout the novel several important events help to tie things together, focus the reader’s interest and guide you every step of the way, along with the Alpha team to hunt this notorious murderer who calls him Taurus. Hearing his inner most angry thoughts, rants and raves and yet understanding the gravity of the situations related author Charles Toftoy carefully includes the reader in the entire investigative processes as he explains the rationale a work the police and FBI use when solving cold case murders.

Brenda Little is the reporter for the Washington Post who purposely fails to recognize our killer in any of her articles. This insights his wrath even more as you listen to his ramblings and can hear his voice throughout the novel. The process beings by having the seasoned and newest members break the ice by introducing themselves and explain their roles. Reading Chapter 11 will enlighten the reader further into the procedures, the steps and the processes used by the police, FBI and this Alpha team firsthand. From the detailed outline of what an original investigation includes, to the major points that need to be covered, reinvestigation and the definition of thought prints which is more detailed than fingerprints and yields better results, this author has created a resource for those thinking about going into the criminal field.

Where does he begin his reign of terror but this time in a mall town of Falls Church. But with two major incidents, one a false prank or hoax and the other a murder this killer’s agenda is unpredictable. The manager of Target receives a bomb threat. A homeless man is killed under the cover of darkness. Explaining the murders to the reader, graphically, how it would go down in the killer’s own words and the aftermath of his glory in what he has done, is more than spine tinkling and bone chilling.

Police Chief James Huntley is gunned by while resting on a bench. The team is angered even more and they to set into a motion to bring this man down. But, can they? What ties the main character Lars Nielsen to the events in the author’s first novel It’s In the Eyes are the vivid images, visions and discussions he has with the Goddess Kali as she appears at critical times, to mentor Lars and guide him the path to finding the right solution. But, this would not be a Charles Toftoy novel without Tiger and his hysterical jokes that lightened the very often tense and grave situations.

Hearing the killer so vividly describe the events as he tells the reader the rush he gets from killing and how and why the poor homeless man had to die is frightening. The focus and everyone’s eyes need to be only on him. Taurus needs a strong sense of security and routine. The power to stay on a task, endure and elude tiredness and fatigue are traits of a Taurus and are prominent in our killer. The victims are alone, staking them and often befriending them before the kill, False kindness sometimes creates dangerous situations and appearances in this case are definitely deceiving. Hiding in plain sight no one knows he is there.

As Doris, the top profiler beings working on the case she explains her powers as a medium as the author takes us through one of her private sessions and explains how she can connect with the dead using something belonging to them. The extensive research and resources the author used to create this intricate plot and outstanding novel is more than impressive. But, when things go sour and an officer is hurt and two are attacked at home the anger that ensues within the team is more than that of a blazing inferno and Lars and the rest are determined to take down the man who seems to be lurking right in front of them without being seen. As the killings increase, the threats to the teams come front and center and then one of the members gets a harsh warning. What follows are detailed meetings of how they are going to catch this guy, questions listed to help them in their investigation and added members of different police forces and branches of law to blend and coordinate their resources and skills. Those studying to be an FBI agent of Detective the questions on pages 188-189 might be quite helpful.  

When all of the pieces finally fit together and the police forces have a better picture of what he looks like one of their own is seriously injured and what happens you just won’t believe. One killer finds out just what happens when justice is finally served but not as you would expect it to be. Twists and curves that even Tiger cannot keep up with in his repertoire of jokes and humorous stories. An ending that you definitely will not see coming and four police departments that prove that some members of law enforcement will never give up until all of the Cold Cases are solved. Look into the eyes of a Cold Case Killer and you will see the eyes of the Alpha Team staring back. You figure out why and the message. This novel will definitely keep you glued to the printed page until you read the climatic and dramatic ending. Find out whether the killer is caught, if he is still at large and when and if Doris and Lars will ever tie the knot. One great book and one creative and talented author who is right up there with Steve Berry, Joseph Finder and other mystery/thriller writers.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Let’s dedicate this review to all those police officers that work really hard to close they Cold Cases and to the victims who will finally rest in peace.


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