The Company of Demons by Michael Jordan : A Must Read Thriller!
A 5-star ***** thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat!
Cities, large or small, have secrets. They dwell in the shadows and are whispered about in hushed tones at sleepovers or boring family events. One of those secrets was about the Murderer of Kingsbury Run. We vividly remember one dull New Year’s party when one of the older cousins told us all about the time two boys found a dismembered body while playing in the run, and how other bodies, some literally, surfaced in Lake Erie. How Eliot Ness himself was stymied and taunted by the killer…and so on. It was the stuff of nightmares, but we were assured it was all in the dim past and couldn’t hurt us.
Only now, Michael Jordan has asked the question, “What if Cleveland’s worst nightmare returned for one final act of vengeance?” And the thrill of those nightmares is back.
“The Company of Demons” is a tightly-written, escalating thriller that journeys into the affect that Cleveland’s first serial killer — who functioned before the word was even coined — had on the lives of those who tried to bring him to justice. The characters, even minor ones, are well developed and true to life — with all their flaws, foibles, prejudices and talents — and on full display, which helps move the story along through some interesting twists and turns. Cleveland itself becomes a character within the book, as the protagonist, Attorney John Coleman, moves through its environs — from the West Side and its strong Irish tradition, to upscale Shaker Heights, and other spots that reveal the strong ethnic and racial diversity of Cleveland.
As John Coleman follows a series of murders that are reminiscent of the Torso Killer’s spiritual successor, the Butcher, the stakes grow larger for himself, his family, and his sanity. This Butcher (and the earlier Torso) have been Coleman’s obsession for years, in his own self-destructive quest to exonerate his cop father’s suicide at failing to apprehend the killer.
The brutal murder of a friend by the Butcher not only brings back the terror of his youth, but entangles him with the victim’s daughter, Jennifer, as he tries to settle her father’s estate.
Without providing any spoilers, the story winds through complex and frightening situations as John faces his own demons — and attempts to salvage his marriage and come to grips with his own life.
“The Company of Demons” is a 5-star read, especially for those who like a book that builds to a stunning conclusion with enough suspense and intriguing plot points to satisfy even the most observant reader. Even when you are guessing what’s about to happen, the author takes you in a new direction.
In Jordan’s non-thriller writing life, he is an attorney and arbitrator. His fascination with the Torso Killer began when he returned to Ohio (he attended Ohio Wesleyan University for his undergrad) to practice law. While waiting for a deposition to begin, he was looking at some old photos on the wall. An older attorney told him the image was of Kingsbury Run where the Torso Murderer was known to leave some of his victims. Thereafter he was hooked on the tale, and learned how it destroyed Eliot Ness’ career as Cleveland’s safety director. Detectives even went to California to see if the infamous Black Dahlia murder was related to The Torso Murderer. That’s when he started to ask himself that fateful “what if” question, resulting in “The Company of Demons”.