Title: An Eye For An Eye (an Ellie Mathews Novel book #2) by Caroline Fardig
Genre: Currently #2077 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Publication Date: To be released January 23, 2018 – Happy Publication Day!
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title and Cover: An Eye For An Eye – Cover depicts scene from book
Ellie Matthews switched to teaching at her local college after leaving her criminalist position with former partner Detective Nick Baxter. Ellie carries a lot of baggage and prefers the quiet, quasi-anonymous position of the college professor. Then one of her sister’s college friends goes missing and she finds herself thrust right back into the fray. This is the second in the series.
The opening chapter grabs your attention and proceeds from there, turning the pages. The body of the missing woman is found staged, posed, and left with negligible evidence, but before Ellie can really get into the science of her young friend, her expertise in forensics and crime scene investigation puts her center stage with the discovery of the body of another young woman. She is good at divorcing her emotions to separate out facts and whether or not she wants to pair with Det. Baxter again, finds herself doing so.
Then the first twist happens and it’s a douzy. Rachel, Ellie’s younger sister goes missing, and when they get a message regarding the demands, it’s one no one saw coming. Well-crafted plot delves into the science of forensics so it’s as fascinating as the story it weaves around. Explanation for procedures is handled as part of the investigation and the story never slows. The author avoids repeating theories over and over, but delves into many new possible scenarios. Sheriff Jayne Walsh is deeply involved since she is the aunt of the second victim, Jenna. The Feds are called in and, while everyone groans, takes over the investigation and divvies up responsibilities to appropriate team members and the race is on to find Ellie’s sister, Rachel.
The perp gives Ellie 72 hours to find his own mother’s killer, but Ellie apparently has another fight on her hands besides time. She and her erstwhile partner battle out their interviews and each other. Ellie is well fleshed, though it’s obvious has demons she has yet to conquer and Baxter brings her up short on the worst of them. She can be sharp and cryptic. It’s clear that Det. Baxter has feelings for her and he is well developed to the point of being sympathetic. Peripheral characters round out a good cast.
Interesting psychological study of the product of a desperately unhappy family situation turned deadly. Not the first female protagonist left with childhood trauma yet to be resolved. Dialogue is natural, though Ellie becomes unbecoming more than once and is difficult to empathize with (notwithstanding the deadly situation and time constraints). The climax satisfactorily closes the book though rather abruptly. Since we learned who was the main antagonist, it was a matter of finding him (and Ellie’s sister). I’d speculated the mother’s killer and was right, but not happy how that ended. (However, how else?) The book leaves room for both the protagonist and Baxter to readdress each other and their relationship.
I downloaded this novel from the author and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for anyone who enjoys police procedurals, forensic studies, criminal minds, mystery, and thriller and suspense.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point five of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author page) CAROLINE FARDIG is the USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the Java Jive Mysteries series and the Lizzie Hart Mysteries series. Fardig’s BAD MEDICINE was named one of the “Best Books of 2015” by Suspense Magazine. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat. ©2018 V Williams