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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Book Review - Circle of Influence

This is a new-to-me author that I had to share with you.  This book was recommended by a fellow author and it lived up to my expectations.

Author: Annette Dashofy

Copyright: March 2014 (Henery Press) 294 pgs

Series: 1st in Zoe Chambers Mystery series

Sensuality: Adult themes without details

Mystery Sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth

Main Characters: Zoe Chambers, Paramedic 

Setting: Modern, rural Pennsylvania

Obtained Through: Personal Purchase

Zoe Chambers, paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township, has been privy to a number of local secrets over the years, some of them her own. But secrets become explosive when a dead body is found in the Township Board President’s abandoned car.

As a January blizzard rages, Zoe and Police Chief Pete Adams launch a desperate search for the killer, even if it means uncovering secrets that could not only destroy Zoe and Pete, but also those closest to them.

Zoe Chambers is a strong woman with her share of baggage that she has to face in this story.  She is a good neighbor and friend who works hard.  Her job of paramedic and part time coroner puts her in the middle of murders quite naturally.  Chief Pete Adams is a potential romantic interest with his own baggage, such as his ex-wife who is somehow linked to the murder.  His relationship with Zoe is complicated, as most are in reality.  All the characters are finely brought to life to populate the town with intertwined connections and motives.

The winter setting had me feeling chilled as I read and the rural location was used to great effect for a sense of isolation.  The story opens by setting the stage of a contentious Township Board meeting and from there the plot leads you on a twisting path.  This is one of the few mysteries where I didn't connect the various threads myself.  The pages flew by as I just had to read more to see what happened.  

The climax was harrowing and not rushed (as many tend to feel). I particularly liked how the killer reveal was pulse pounding and suspenseful while coming together naturally.   

Although this could be classified a cozy, it has a slightly more gritty feel to it.  All the elements of the story are deftly woven together for a first rate mystery.  I highly recommend and will definitely be delving into the following books in the series.

Rating: Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend. 

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prince said...
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Mindvalley said...
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