Scene of the Crime follows private investigator Jack Herriman as he’s tasked with tracking down Maggie Jordan, a missing person in the California Bay Area. Jack’s efforts lead him to a commune where it’s believed Maggie had last been seen. From there, it isn’t long until a trail of clues takes him to a motel in which he locates Maggie alive but heavily under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Once Maggie sobers up, Jack questions her about her disappearance. After some coffee and conversation, Jack drops Maggie off at her room and heads home for the evening. Events take a turn the following morning when Maggie is found murdered, shot to death in her room, with about ten thousand dollars in cold, hard cash.
Despite only being hired to locate her, Jack is not content to let sleeping dogs lie and begins a second investigation, this time into Maggie’s murder.
Scene of the Crime was Ed Brubaker’s first series with what would become his long-time collaborators Sean Phillips (Incognito, Criminal, The Fade Out) and Michael Lark (Gotham Central, Daredevil) and they clearly quickly developed an undeniable chemistry. The story has plenty of excellent twists and turns that match up perfectly with Lark’s gritty art and Phillips deep, dark inking.
There’s also a short tale tagged on at the end that details Jack heading to Chicago around Christmas to find a material witness in a court case. I liked this one just as much as the main story, so I’m glad it was included. Also inserted as extras are Ed’s notes for pitching the series and an essay that details his love of crime fiction and what attracted him to the genre.
I’ve become sort of a Brubaker/Phillips completest and to date, have yet to read something by them I haven’t liked. This one is definitely worth a look.