16 March 2012

Review: Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins

The Closet Killings have claimed five victims in three years in the town of Amaryllis (pop. 1700). All middle-aged women who lived alone. All killed in their beds, then stuffed in the bedroom closet. Now there is a sixth victim… young widow Erika Hollinger.

Gone to Ground is told from three different points of view, three women who are sure they know who the murderer is, and who have reason to want to hide that knowledge.  Cleaner Cherrie Mae Devine knows the murderer is the mayor.  Pregnant Tully Phillips knows it is her husband. And hairdresser Deena Ruckland knows it is her simple-minded younger brother.  Who is right? Or are these simply red herrings, designed to distract us from the real murderer?  The story is interspersed with articles from local Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Trent Williams, and these give background information about the town and the personalities involved in the investigation.

This is an excellent who-dun-it, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the investigators (and the reader) guessing.  The three narrators were well-developed characters, with each woman having her own distinct voice, which makes it easy to understand the changing points of view.  I liked each of them (although Cherrie Mae’s use of the word ‘police’ got old quickly – if the emphasis had to be included, I think I would have found ‘po-lice’ less intrusive).

While Cherrie Mae is a Christian and she prays with the other narrators, it is not clear whether or not they are Christians, nor is it relevant. Although Gone to Ground is not an overtly Christian novel, this is less of an issue to me in a mystery or thriller than it would being a romance, where it is vital that the hero and heroine share a relationship with God. Overall, Gone to Ground is well worth reading if you like mysteries.  Recommended.

Thanks to B&H Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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