blake pierce

Review of ‘Cause to Kill’

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Homicide Avery Black was once a promising criminal defense lawyer. When she got a client off who then went on to kill again, she was disgraced. She gave up her lucrative law career and became a police detective to try to redeem herself. Despite amassing a stellar record on the police force, she’s still not completely accepted by her colleagues. Even though they grudgingly acknowledge her brilliant mind, there is pushback when she’s included on a case involving the abduction and murder of girls from one of Boston’s prestigious universities.

In Cause to Kill by Blake Pierce Avery finally lands a case that can lead to her final redemption. But, she’s up against a killer who is every bit as smart and daring as she is. You’ll find yourself plunged into Avery’s murky world as she tries to get a step ahead of a killer who is brilliant and who always seems to be one step ahead of the law.

Despite an over-abundance of typos, this one’s a definite keeper for mystery/thriller fans.

I give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘A Trace of Death’

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Former college professor Keri Locke is now a rookie detective in the Missing Persons Unit of LAPD’s Homicide Division. Still haunted by the abduction of her daughter four years earlier, she throws herself into her cases, while still seeking answers as to her daughter’s whereabouts.

When a high school student, daughter of a US Senator, fails to arrive home from school, she and her partner investigate. They uncover secrets in the girl’s life that lead everyone else to believe she has merely run away, but Keri is unconvinced, and despite being told to drop it, continues to investigate.

A Trace of Death by Blake Pierce is a spine-tingling mystery/thriller that you absolutely will not be able to put down once you start reading. The way the author switches back and forth from Keri’s first person point of view to the kidnap victim’s third person view only adds to the suspense, and makes the denouement all the more satisfying.

I give this book four stars.

Review of ‘Once Gone’

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When the body of a woman is found in rural Virginia, the victim tortured and the body obviously staged, the FBI realizes it has a serial killer on the loose. FBI Special Agent Bill Jeffreys has seen this killer’s work before, and he knows that there’s only one agent in the bureau capable enough to find this sadistic killer, his partner, Riley Paige. But, Paige, is on leave, recuperating from her last case, where in the process of saving the victim of another vicious killer, she was captured and almost killed herself.

Paige, realizing that she must get back into the field if she is to overcome her trauma, joins in the hunt for a killer who will certainly kill again if not caught—and, in fact, does.

Once Gone by Blake Pierce is a not only the killer, but his motives, at the same time that she must deal with her own inner demons taut psychological drama that follows Paige as she uses her considerable profiling skills to identify and the deterioration of her family.

Interesting side trips take the reader into the mind of the killer as he stalks his victims, while tracking Paige as she step-by-step zeroes in on him. This is the first book in a planned series, and it introduces an interesting main character; a crack investigator who has to overcome inner and interpersonal conflict in order to succeed. The writing is a bit rough in patches, in particular the overuse of character names, but the plotting and pace are about right for the story. The author plays fair with the use of clues, and includes the occasional misstep to keep things interesting, and the main character’s weaknesses—she’s suffering from PTSD as a result of her last case, and therefore plagued with doubt—makes for interesting reading.

I predict that the writing, which is not really all that bad, will improve dramatically as this series matures. I give it three stars.

I received this book as a gift.