Nov 18, 2016

Book Review: A Moving Screen

On June 16, 2005 the body of a female is discovered in the smoking shell of a house fire in Atlanta, Georgia. Without clues to identify the victim or the person responsible for what is ruled arson and murder, Dennis Cane, lead detective, decides to take one last look at the crime scene. He finds a single black thread. On June 24 another female victim is found in a neighboring county. Through his resourcefulness, Dennis learns that a black thread was found at the site of this crime, but the cases go cold due to lack of evidence and bodies that cannot be identified. Two jurisdictions. Two separate cases. Two brutal and horrifying murders.

Over the next three years, literally clinging to threads, he begins to see a pattern: women are dying twice a year on June 16 and 24 at the hands of a serial killer. A murderer with knowledge of forensics and the foresight to choose a different police jurisdiction for each of his crimes, who is escaping punishment. Only Dennis is paying attention. Waiting for the killer to make a mistake. On June 16, 2008 a woman is discovered in the city limits of Peach Grove, Georgia, where Dennis now works. The woman survives, but is unable to identify her assailant because of heavy sedation as she fights for her life. But Dennis knows that this is the break he’s been waiting for. Racing against time, Dennis joins forces with Merlot Candy, a private investigator and the two set out on a quest that will bring them in contact with more evil than they could have ever imagined.

* * * * *

As I have gotten older, I have become more and more a fan of police procedurals and thrillers.   There is just something about getting the chance to get inside the mind of a killer.  From a safe distance, of course.

A MOVING SCREEN starts out with a great plot and interesting main characters however I didn't find that it lived up to its promise.  It got bogged down with details that were repeated over and over.  There are just so many times that I need to be told just what Merlot is wearing or just what protective equipment the nurse needs to wear when working with a severely burned victim.  

I also found that the dialogue was stilted in places to the extent that the editor in me wanted to highlight it and send it back to the author.  Another thing that slowed down the story was an overabundance of the details on the backgrounds of unimportant secondary characters.

The ending was great as I didn't see it coming which does make reading this book worthwhile in the end though I don't feel right recommending it to my readers without pointing out the issues.  Now mind you that everyone's take on a book differs so always take my opinions with a grain of salt.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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