LAND OF THE LIVING by Nicci French was not as good as I was led to believe by the usual blurbs on the back of the book cover. This novel was just okay…
Abbie Devereaux of London miraculously escapes from a horrific kidnapper and finds that no one believes her ordeal, not even the police. Since she remembers nothing about being abducted or the days leading up to that point, she begins to seek answers by retracing her life and movements up to that fearful time. In doing so, she learns she had quit her job, left her abusive boyfriend, moved in with a new female friend, who has since disappeared, and slept with the former boyfriend of this woman.
Abbie’s friends, having been concerned about her whereabouts for the past three-weeks, are as shocked to hear her story as they are by the sight of her. She further surprises them by drastically changing her appearance, being fearful that her insane abductor will seek her out and re-kidnap her. In the search to restore her memory and find her missing roommate, Abbie discovers the psychopath’s lair and another victim…Although French has written several novels, this one was slightly overrated.
Singularity by Kathryn Casey (a Houston, TX resident and true-crime author) is a well-written, gripping debut thriller…Sarah Armstrong is a Texas Ranger Profiler, who has recently lost her Ranger husband, Bill. She and her bright, nine-year-old daughter Maggie have moved in with Sarah’s widowed mother, who feels Sarah is too involved with her job and not enough with Maggie.
Two brutal murders have been committed on Galveston Island and Sarah has been assigned to the case due to its gruesomeness. The local police suspect a wealthy Houston socialite, Priscilla Lucas. The victims are her husband and his mistress, who were caught in the act at the Lucas’ beach house. However, their grotesque poses, wounds, and bloody cross on the wall above the bed alert Sarah that this is going to be a very difficult case, involving a psychopath and not a cheated-on wife. The Governor, due to the celebrity-hood of the case, as well as his Houston political-backers, calls in the FBI to assist.
Sarah has met Detective Nelson of the Galveston PD before and inwardly fumes at his condescending manner towards her. He insists that the wealthy widow did the deed and refuses to accept Sarah’s reluctance to follow his lead. Luckily, one of the FBI agents, Scoggins, is willing to aide Nelson, while the other agent, Garrity, is more open-minded and sticks with Sarah’s intuition, which leads them all over Texas to other victims similarly murdered. Through insider leaks to the press, which Sarah suspects are coming from Nelson, the serial killer begins sending taunting notes specifically to her…Singularity refers to Maggie’s science project about black holes, as well as the whirling darkness of this widening murder case. Excellent! Thank you, Kathryn Casey.