Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cause of Death, by Renee Benzaim

Cause of Death, by Renee Benzaim

Police procedural Cause of Death is the first mystery / thriller for author Renee Benzaim, and the first entry in the Det. Annie Avants series. 

From Goodreads:

A Serial Killer. Black widow spiders. A race to catch the perp before he strikes again.

Imagine if J.A. Konrath and Janet Evanovich sat down to write about the ultimate female detective fighting against time to catch a serial killer in Bakersfield, CA before he strikes again.

Meet Robbery/Homicide Detective Annie Avants and her partner, Detective Tom Weston of the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

In this dusty farm community, someone is abducting and killing young Hispanic females. His weapon of choice - black widow spiders.

Can these two dedicated Detectives catch him with the help of their peers and friends, Deputy District Attorney Jesse Greyeyes and Technical Investigations Chief Laine DelMonte?

Cause of Death is a spine-chilling thriller that keeps you guessing right up to the last minute - and makes you wonder about the "normal" people in YOUR daily life.

This exciting book is fast-paced, easy to follow, with engaging characters and a highly suspenseful storyline. I couldn't put it down. I didn't put it down, and read it straight through in a day. I just had to find out whodunit!

The story is told from alternating points of view of different characters, including Annie, the victims, and even the perpetrator. The reader knows, from the beginning, how the murders are committed, but not why or by whom. The reader is with each victim, as she is nabbed by the perp. The reader is with the detectives, as they pursue their leads and hit dead-ends. The author includes several red herrings to mislead the reader, and a dead goldfish, so beware.

As one would expect in the first book in the Det. Annie Avants series, Annie is the main character, and a very likable one at that. Annie's part is well written, with enough back-story for the reader to really get to know her. The relationships between Annie and her friends / co-workers are complex and interesting, due to the back-stories the author reveals about the other characters.

I look forward to reading more about Annie and company in future books in the series. The eBook edition of Damage Control, the second book in the series, is expected to be published by August 30, 2013, and the paperback edition by September 15, 2013. I rated Cause of Death five out of five kitties. I give it my highest recommendation, for anyone who enjoys police procedural mysteries or suspense / thrillers.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, with no expectation of a positive review.   



Renee Benzaim via Google+

5 days ago (edited)  -  Shared publicly
Here's a new review from Jane Reads blog for my #crimefictionnovel Cause of Death: