Reviewed by Jenna A.

History surrounds the readers in the newest novel by author William C. Whitbeck, Chief Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals. To Account for Murder starts the readers on a long journey filled with ever evolving characters on a path of political intrigue in the underbelly of Michigan.

Charles Cahill is a man enveloped in longing and loss, a man whose own relationship with his son is a strain for compassion. He longs to feel whole, he longs for love,and he longs for that sense of hope and pride he once possessed. Instead, Charles must settle for a death bed confessional, a story told to his son, Frankie, before he leaves this world. After World War II’s infamous D-Day, Charles left not only his arm, but part of himself in France, burned deep within the scortched earth. So when a beautiful and wickedly clever woman walks into his life, with a single white streak glistening in her hair, a thirst for laugher, and a driving force of love that catches Charles by the heart, he has no choice but to open himself to her.

This complex relationship spins the reader like a child playing with a top.  Sarah loves Charles, but she lives in an ever burning fear of an abusive and jealous husband. One phone call launches this story into an investigation of the mysterious death of a Senator, a death which leaves the power hungry characters dodging political aspirations, plots and woe, while Charles seeks only anonymity.  To Account for Murder engages readers in Charles’ journey, and the realization that Charles can only comprehend the most simplistic realities: One, that he loves Sarah. Two, that he shot the Senator.

To Account for Murder weaves loves lost with loves reunited. With a 1940’s political crime setting that pits love against ambition, William C. Whitbeck shows us his experience and knowledge of the law and how it effects everyone. A strong plot concept and thrilling ending make the story sufficiently thrilling; however, with a semi- dry first half of the book it is up to each individual reader whether to continue on with Charles Cahill or to submit to disappointment and relctance like his son Frankie.

Readers will find satisfaction in the plot concept, but may be disappointed by the overly long build up to the climax of the story. If you continue on and get a taste for the twists and turns of the latter half of the novel, you will find a fufilling ending, that will leave you with either a grin on your face or a feeling of imbalanced curiosity.

Jenna lives in a small town in Ohio with her fiance and cat Osiris. Along with her passion for reading and the literary world, she is also a painter, poet, fiction writer, and amatuer photographer.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.