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Unidentified Woman #15: A McKenzie Novel    by David Housewright order for
Unidentified Woman #15
by David Housewright
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Driving on a highway outside the Twin Cities in winter, ex-cop Rushmore McKenzie brakes suddenly after two men toss a lovely young woman (whose hands are bound) off the back of their pickup in front of his car. This has a domino effect, resulting in a pileup of thirty-seven vehicles!

The woman survives, though she is badly injured and apparently has amnesia. No one steps forward to claim her and there are no matching missing reports. Police dub her Unidentified Woman #15. After her hospitalization, Rush's close friend, Bobby Dunston, a commander in St. Paul Police Department's Major Crimes and Investigations Division, asks him to take her in and protect her until her identity can be established. Rush's partner Nina takes a liking to the girl, but he wonders if she's telling the truth about her amnesia - and why she's being followed.

After Fifteen robs him of cash and guns - and one of the latter is used in a murder - Rush starts digging into her identity and past, and traces her to a close knit small town community, where several different parties seem to have stakes in the game. More killings follow, and both Rush and Nina have close shaves. There's a femme fatale, a professional killer, shoplifting, disposal of stolen property, blackmail, and a mysterious Boss pulling strings behind the scenes.

Though Unidentified Woman #15 is the twelfth in the McKenzie series and I hadn't read any previous episodes, I enjoyed this one. Rush is an engaging PI, with good people around him, and Housewright pens a solid mystery.

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