In the Belly of Jonah by Sandra Brannan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Liv Bergen is the manager of a quarry outside Ft. Collins, CO. She’s having a normal start to her day when it is interrupted by the arrival of a police detective – one of her employees, a summer intern, is missing. She later learns that the employee – Jill Brannigan – has been murdered. Later that day, she gets a call from an old friend of hers – Lisa Henry – with whom she played basketball at university in Laramie, WY. Lisa is now with the FBI – a behavioral analyst – and she has been called in to profile Brannigan’s murder. The FBI believes Jill is the victim of the Venus di Milo Murderer – a serial killer who poses his victims in bizarre ways, and cuts them in a way that has baffled the FBI, who have been unable to discern what sort of weapon made the cuts. SAC Streeter Pierce joins Lisa Henry in staying at Liv’s house while they pursue the killer. The next victim shocks everyone … Will the FBI be able to track down the killer before yet another victim is taken?
This is quite a good debut novel – good character development, carefully layered plot with a good pace. There were a couple minor plot discrepancies that were missed by the content editor, but I’m not sure many people will have noticed them – they didn’t detract from the overall story. I would certainly recommend this initial book in the Liv Bergen Mystery Thriller series to fans of suspense, mysteries and thrillers. Also look for the second book in the series, released earlier this year, “Lot’s Return to Sodom.”
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