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When the Dead Speak: A Sam Casey Mystery [Mass Market Paperback]

S. D. Tooley , Sandra Tooley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2000 Sam Casey Mysteries
The body of a U.S. soldier reported AWOL during the Korean War is found encased in a concrete pillar in a suburb of Chicago. Sam Casey has an advantage over other cops: the dead speak to her, tell her secrets about their life and death. But sometimes what she learns can get her killed. The first in the Sam Casey series combines an age-old murder, political intrigue, and Native American mysticism.

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Product Description


"It looks like Tooley has a winner on her first novel and I look forward to her next, Nothing Else Matters." -- Mystery News

"Nifty, X-Fileish without the alien tint, this novel slyly pulls you in and under..." -- Buzz Review News

From the Publisher

S.D. Tooley combines Native American mysticism with police procedure and political intrigue in her first Sam Casey mystery. She has a keen ear for dialogue and her years as a technical writer explains her acute attention to detail. She has crafted an entertaining mystery novel and brings together an intriguing blend of characters in her series. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fast-Paced, Topsy-Turvy Ride Oct. 11 2000
It started with a wreck in Chasen Heights, a mainly blue collar town on the Southern border of Lake Michigan just fifteen miles north of Chicago. A corvette cuts off a semi on the expressway and causes the semi to hit the center medium and jack knive, exposing enough concrete all the way up to the cement pillar where it connected to the overpass. Enough concrete had broken away to expose mummified remains, perfectly preserved.
Jake Mitchell and his partner Frank Travis get the case, along with their new partner Detective Sergeant Sam Casey who is not the usual police officer. She has inherited a gift from her mother and grandmother. Sam's mom Abby is a Sioux medicine woman, and they both have the ability to speak to the dead. Sam knows facts that no one else knows.
The body that was encased in cement was that of a solider from the Korean War who was reported AWOL and in his hand was a lighting bolt pin, which when Sam touched, she saw dozens of lighting bolt shapes. She also saw body parts lying in a field. Sam felt a cold wave go up her body and the hair raise than the vision ended. Sam remembers that she saw another lighting bolt pin in a safe of State Representative Preston Hillard when she was under cover at his home. Hillard claims to know nothing about the pin and never knew the dead man. Sam finds out that her dad had one in his jewelry box. What do the solider and her father have to do with each other? Sam must uncover the facts even though her own boss Murphy has closed the case for good.
WHEN THE DEAD SPEAK is a fast-paced, topsy-turvy ride that mixed with humor and a little loving along the way will keep you enthralled all the way through the book. I really liked the fact that mixed into the pot is some Native American Culture, which made the book even more tantalizing. I can hardly wait for the next Sam Casey mystery to come out. Expect great things from this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Highly Recommended. June 6 2000
When The Dead Speak by S.D. Tooley will hold the reader's attention riveted until the last page is turned. With a foundation of Native American mysticism blended with a solid murder mystery, Tooley creates a masterful tale of love and murder. A freak accident where a semi swerves to collide with the concrete columns of an overpass in Chicago. As chunks of concrete fall away, a body is revealed encased in its concrete tomb. In his hand is a gold pen shaped like a lightening bolt, and a clue that spans the world reaching into Korea and the racism that American soldiers perpetrated against their own. The corruption of the evil done in Korea has spread on American shores to the highest levels, and even ties to Sam's own deceased father. Detective Sergeant Samantha Casey has a gift inherited from her mother, a Sioux medicine woman. Using her hands, Sam can hear the voices of the dead. When she touches the mysterious golden lightening bolt, she witnesses the ravaged, bullet ridden bodies, and she smells the blood and gunpowder. From a corpse dead twenty-one years, Sam hears the screams of battle and senses the fear and terror. If you enjoy Alex Matthew's series with the heroine Cassidy McCabe, then you will find Sam Casey equally satisfying and yet uniquely different. When The Dead Speak is a rocket paced, addictive novel that is impossible to put down. The heroine is sexy, gifted, and imperfect, with just enough vulnerability to keep the reader hooked. While it reaches a satisfying conclusion, When The Dead Speak also leaves just enough untied and interesting loose ends to lead into the sequel, Nothing Else Matters.
Cindy Penn, Reviewer
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4.0 out of 5 stars How soon can we expect the movie? May 1 2000
By A Customer
In this first Sam Casey series mystery, Chasen Heights detective sergeant Samantha ("Sam") Casey uses psychic powers inherited from her Lakota medicine-woman mother to solve a Korean War era crime. During a Chicago rush-hour traffic accident, a car plows into a cement pillar, cracking it open, and revealing a body that's been entombed there for so long it has turned to a soap-like substance. The first time she touches it, Sam is tormented with visions of the African American man's violent death.
The action-packed story weaves together sub-plots involving illegal gambling in high social circles, historic racism in the supposedly integrated US Army in Korea, and police departments' eternal political struggles. And, if that's not enough to hook readers, Sam very reluctantly falls in love with another cop -- one who seems to be out to get her kicked off the force. Tooley's characters are memorable -- even minor ones like the big-breasted blackjack dealer who mesmerizes male gamblers.
This book will leave you wanting to know more -- about bodies that can turn to soap, race relations in the 1950s Army, Sioux medicine women, and especially Sam Casey.
What fun!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great police procedural with a twist June 6 1999
By A Customer
Fifteen miles from Chicago near Chasen Heights, a semi plows into a support pillar, which begins to toss off away pieces of cement before revealing a corpse. Police sergeant Samantha Casey examines the body using powers inherited from her mother, a powerful Sioux medicine woman. She touches the remains, finding various clues that she provides to fellow officers Frank Davis and Jake Mitchell.
The police have a two-decade old murder mystery on their hands. The victim is Harvey Wilson, an African-American who reportedly went AWOL during the Korean conflict. Harvey held a gold pin in his hand. The lightning bolt-shaped jewelry is identical to that owned by Sam's father and a state senator. As the clues pile up and the case turns into something much more complex than simple murder, the police get closer to the resolution. However, someone wants the investigation ended and will do anything to deflect it.
WHEN THE DEAD SPEAKS, the debut Sam Casey novel, is an action-packed mystery that will garner much attention from fans who enjoy a police procedural with a twist. The characters make the novel. Sam is a fine investigator whose extra talent aids her on her cases and cleverly provides readers a glimpse into the life of the victim. The support cast augments the non-stop action by bringing depth to the story line. Readers need to provide adequate time to complete this tale in one sitting because NOTHING ELSE MATTERS except finishing S.D. Tooley's first novel.

Harriet Klausner
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Very confusing and lacking in suspense
I was hoping for better from this book, but it never materialized. There are too many characters, not enough development of main characters, and it is never explained why the dead... Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2004 by shelliecat
2.0 out of 5 stars Mainly 2-d Characters without common sense or personal ident
I was hoping for a lot more from this book based on the review ratings and was somewhat disappointed. How Sam Casey ever made it through the police academy is beyond me. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by BlueFlamingo
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed. Expected more based on other reviews.
After reading the reviews, I had high expectations for this series. I found the author's style very disjointed and unpleasant to read. Read more
Published on Dec 10 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars More, more!
Sam Casey is a wonderful character! The story was interesting, the characters (Jake, Abby, Alex, Frank) were deep and fascinating, the mystery held your attention until the last... Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2002 by Jenn
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ
WHEN THE DEAD SPEAK is a fast-paced, topsy-turvy ride that mixed with humor and a little loving along the way will keep you enthralled all the way through the book. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2000 by Pamela Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new series!!
Sam Casey is a new character to keep your eyes on. This book is great, with a strong lead character, good plot and mystery, and just enough Native American mysticism to make it... Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2000 by M.V.
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting new heroine
From the fast paced opening scene of a truck swerving into a concrete pillar disclosing a mummy to the gambling party at a politician's house, to the security guards at the same... Read more
Published on June 11 2000 by "bf@nostalgia.com"
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a definite page turner.
Sandra Tooley has created a great heroine in Sam Casey. Multi-faceted because of her Indian heritage, Sam faces the challenge of a mysterious murder and a new man in her life in a... Read more
Published on July 9 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Detective Sergeant Samantha Casey has a "gift" from her Native American heritage. She is able to speak with the dead. Not words, but images. Read more
Published on June 22 1999
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