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Destroying Angels by Gail Lukasik
Reviewed by Karen Treanor, New Mystery Reader
The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press ISBN: 159058256X
Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader
Junior veterinarian Rachel Goddard lives in a wealthy neighborhood outside Washington D.C. with her mother and her younger sister, not really ready yet to strike out on her own, instead content for now to enjoy the security and safely of family. But that's all about to change when she begins to experience odd memories and dreams that seem all too real and personal, dreams of two little girls crying in the rain. When she questions her mother about it, however, her mother is quick to change the subject and will reveal nothing, nothing of this memory, or of their dead father, or really anything at all to do with their mysterious past. And as these feelings grow in strength, along with her budding relationship with a co-worker, she knows she will have to find out the truth behind her unexplained past if she's ever to find any peace in her future.
Parshall's first novel is one that mystery fans will no doubt gobble up with relish, having all the necessary ingredients for an afternoon of ominous mystery and stimulating thrills. The slow building menace is simply delectable and comes surrounded by a plot with devious manipulations, a hint of romance, and characters that compel and engage, all adding up to an exciting and suspenseful read that comes easily recommended.
Murder in Exile by Vincent H. OíNeil
Publisher: St. Martinís Press ISBN: 0312352077
Reviewed by Robin Thomas, New Mystery Reader
Frank Cole has been having more than his fair share of bad luck; his company has gone bankrupt and the judge has made an unprecedented ruling that all of Coleís earnings will be treated as part of the bankruptcy until all the claims are settled. His lawyer and college roommate, Brian Ruben, recommends that Frank get out of town and make as little money as possible. Frank winds up in exile in Exile, Florida living in a rundown bungalow and working as a fact checker for an insurance company. Frank is given the case of Edward Gonzalez, a jogger who was killed in a hit-and-run accident. While checking the facts, Frank finds out that Gonzalez has recently bought a large life insurance policy and that his girlfriend is the beneficiary. Frank continues to investigate the case because he believes that Gonzalez was not the real target but was an innocent victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He needs to find out who was the real target in order to clear Edwardís name and to get the insurance company to pay the claim. It becomes pretty clear that there is more to this case than meets the eye and Frank gets himself in a world of trouble. Frankís role has expanded from lowly fact finder to a target of some high powered bad guys.
Murder in Exile is Vincent H. OíNeilís debut novel and is the winner of the 2005 Malice Domestic/St. Martinís Press best first tradition mystery contest. Frank Cole is clearly a reluctant amateur sleuth but his quick mind and good intuition enables him to put the pieces together quicker than private investigators hired to solve the case. It is Frankís sense of honor and inquisitive nature that gets him in trouble but makes him an endearing character. Murder in Exile is a very entertaining novel and I hope that we will hear more from Frank Cole while in exile in Exile, Florida in the future.