The Devil’s Own Rag Doll

Written by Mitchell Bartoy
Review by Viviane Crystal

Detroit during World War II is a dangerous place. Suspicion is rampant about supposed enemy agents perhaps seeking to infest and destroy the production output so lucrative for Detroit and necessary for the American war effort. A young woman is murdered. She’s the daughter of a prominent citizen and businessman as well. So it’s no surprise that Detective Pete Caudill is not only assigned the investigation but also charged with covering up the crime rather than bringing the criminal or criminals to justice. Is this an Axis plot? Actually, it turns out that Pete Caudill’s own family is embarrassingly involved, a fact that doesn’t stop him from pursuing the murderer or murderers.

This isn’t really an in-depth historical novel, but it certainly carries the atmospheric weight of this precarious time when patriotism meant everything. One was either for or against victory, and there was no room for grey wavering. Too bad Pete Caudill doesn’t believe that much, and plunges ahead based on his own definition of integrity and patriotic duty. This is a fast-paced detective story that any crime fiction lover will thoroughly enjoy!