Chris Freeburn, author of Parental Source, the first in the C.C.D. Series, returns to the streets of Virginia in her second police procedural crime novel, Generation Without Souls. Parallel to books of the 87th Precinct by Ed McBain, Freeburn manages to convey the art of police work while delivering suspense, action, and three-dimensional characters tightly compacted into a page-turning mystery novel.

Rayven Forrester, her brother the attorney, Quinton, and her partner, Preston Richards, spearhead the Child Crimes Division (C.C.D.), established to give more attention to child-related crimes. Geared toward investigating homicides and abuse cases, the last thing the dynamic trio expected to be working on is one involving stuffed animals.

Ambers, stuffed teddy bears, similar to Beannie Babies, are the latest, hottest fad. Kids want them, and parents will do anything and everything to get them. When an expected shipment of dolls is late, the gathered mob of anxious shoppers turns ugly. C.C.D. is called to the scene and works crowd control. Things go from bad to worse when a murder is committed under the nose of a police-protected toy store. And a box of Ambers is missing, perhaps stolen, from inventory.

Who would kill for a box of toys? Plenty of people would. The dolls stolen were from an imperfect lot of crafted critters. The street value of such a delectable doll is through the roof. Rival teen-gangs are doing anything, and everything to get their dirty little hands on the Ambers, including acts of extreme violence.

It is up to the C.C.D. to figure what, aside from an imperfection in the manufacturing, is making the Ambers so popular. Their search for answers is hindered by an abundance of roadblocks, both legal and illegal. One thing is certain: the stakes are high. The gangs are not fooling around. Lives are in danger. No one is safe, not even the members of the C.C.D.

Filled with some tender family moments, a splash of romance and a whole lot of action,
Generation Without Souls is filled with everything I expect to find in a mystery novel. Freeburn is a talented and skilled novelist. She has created amazing characters that readers will immediately care about. Generation Without Souls is one of the best police procedurals I have read in a long time. It is full of twists, turns and stomach-churning loop-de-loops. I look forward to the third in the series.

Book Summary:

The Child Crimes Division is back, urgently seeking the answer to why a popular toy could result in an increase in crime, even murder in a toy store. Rayven, Preston and Quinton must position themselves and the C.C.D. as a barrier between suburban and urban gangs heading toward war, all the while, dealing with the political naysayers whoa attack the division and its results.



Phillip Tomasso III is the award-winning author of Adverse Impact, Johnny Blade, Third Ring, Tenth House and Mind Play. He works full time as an employment law paralegal, freelances for a community newspaper and writes regular book reviews for Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, The Best Reviews and Curled Up With A Good Book. Tomasso also writes middle grade novels under the pen name, Grant R. Philips. King Gauthier and the Little Dragon Slayer will be released by Port Town Publishing, September 2003; Sounds of Silence in the Fall of 2004 by Star Bright Books. Living in Rochester, New York with his wife and three children. Tomasso is currently at work on his next mystery and middle grade novels.

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