Author: H. Burns.

Publisher: Howard Schrack.

 ISBN: 9780692863886.

The snow is falling at a rapid rate and the winds are picking up making it hard to drive. A killer is out there preying on young victims and the end result will shock readers as we meet Randy and Marlene driving home from an event as his boss’s home. Blankets are made of silk, wool, cotton, down or other materials used to keep us warm. Within the confines of a snowdrift lies a young teenager snuggled and tucked in beneath the snow with only an outstretched hand clenched in a fist. Imagine the fear in their eyes when they realized what it might be and that someone used this huge mountain of snow as a blanket to keep this child’s body preserved but definitely not warm. Author H. Burns flashes back to he history of Detroit and it’s heritage. 

The author recounts what really happened in the greater Detroit and Oakland County Area of Michigan during the winters of 76 and 77. The blizzards and snowfall was record breaking, the temperatures plummeting, and the winds relentless. Under the cover of snow and during these two winters some decided to kill preteen and early teen victims two girls and two young boys. The killer waited for the snow to fall and when we learn about the first victim, you will learn that she was taken to a secluded place, cleansed, cared for, given her favorite meal as a last meal and then killed.

The first body as the rest you will learn would be hidden in snow banks, secondary roads and someone would call the police dispatcher with clues to where the body would be found but the killer remained at large. Frank Pellegrini is a strong and remarkable character whose bent on taking this person down and others like this killer. The first victim Morgan Myers was taken and held for many days before being killed. But the when Frank visits her mother and learns more about Morgan she was missing for days, her mother thought she was with friends and her whereabouts unknown until her body was found. 

The history of Detroit starts with the birth of Detroit and the author includes Henry Ford who opened the largest, most self-contained industrial complex in the world called the Rouge complex. He continues with his achievements and then adds information about the racial equality and the Dark Side as well as information about the Purple Gang. Chapter 3 starts us off with the investigation as we meet Frank and his captain McDougal who takes immediate charge and after the body is removed barks orders as it how he wants things to proceed and the jobs for each one placed on this investigative team.

The child Victims Investigative Unit is a department of the Detroit Police Department and is the unit investigating this case. Frank I hardcore, tough and Captain McDougal deals with him because in the past his instincts solved cases and like Adrian Monk whose methods might seem out of the ordinary and odd, sees things that no one else does and lives and breathes catching these killers. Partnered with new partner named Jimmy, who seems able to get along with him, he checks out the crime scene, completes his morning rituals, requests O’Malley’s for his favorite daily shots of Wild Turkey 101. The body of the first child is unclothed and buried in the snow and he and Jimmy are going to find justice for this young child. But, the killer has just begun and the next snowfall is even worse than the first and the killer goes after Laura Denton who was also missing for days before her body was found. What is the link? Why these young people? As Frank and Jimmy get to know each other better he shares his past, his childhood losing his parents, the family that nurtured and took him in and the sad end result.     

Throughout the novel Frank and Jimmy revisit each crime scene and then the calls to the dispatcher and one single element in the pictures triggers his mind and he realizes the main clue and what might help solve the murders. Morgan, Laura and the next Robbie who was told not to skateboard in the street but who escaped his sister’s watch and winds up dead. The murders took place in Black Pond where Frank lived and he’s arrested and framed for the murders but did he commit them? Duped by the killer to thinking that something happened to their parents and then up during a snowstorm the novel focuses on the darkness of the night, the grey clouds and dark black clouds and the fact that this killer is so elusive.

Called the Babysitter Killer and although there were many suspects as I researched the murders during a 13-month period, four children were abducted and murdered and their bodies left in various locations within the county. Their ages varied and the investigation even in this novel is one of the largest in the history of the U.S. The ending places Frank in danger and the final outcome and who the killer is when revealed will shock not only readers but Frank too. Was the killer caught? Who murdered these innocent children? You need to read find out for yourself as in real life the killer was never found and the murders ended. “ The vicious murders ended and the DARK GRAY BLANKET LIFTED.” Author H. Burns brings to light the importance of parents being vigilant and knowing where their children and teens go and making sure they contact or text them when in trouble. An important book for young adults, teens and parents.