Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine's world has been a small underground prison.  She was attacked and kidnapped on the street.  Since then she has seen no one but her captor, heard no one, talked to no one.  The torture and sexual abuse were unrelenting in the beginning but after three years the toll that malnutrition and neglect have taken on her body is even worse.  But she hasn't forgotten who she is or her training.  When a citywide blackout occurs, it gives her an advantage over her captor.  Jude manages to escape and runs into the night.

Her case made huge news three years ago and her miraculous recovery makes even more news.  The fact that her estranged father is the governor makes the story even bigger.  But this is not the brash Jude Fontaine who was captured.  She has been changed forever.  Even when she recovers physically, her ordeal leaves its mark.  She returns to the police department, homicide division, a changed woman.  In that room, survival meant reading your opponent's every move and interpreting every muscle twitch.  Jude now transfers that skill to her work.

She has a new partner, Uriah Ashby.  Ashby has his own skeletons and he definitely doesn't think Jude has any business in a homicide division or even back on the force.  But the cases keep coming and they have to be worked.  Ashby and Fontaine catch a case where a teenage girl is found in the local lake, with stones in her pocket.  It looks like suicide but the autopsy shows it was actually a homicide.  When a girl they talk to in their investigation is also killed, the pair start to suspect that there may be a serial killer on the loose.  Can they uncover a crime that has remained hidden and unsuspected for years?

Anne Frasier has created a memorable character in Jude Fontaine.  The description of Jude's confinement and how she adapted to it to emerge with new strengths is excellent. The mystery is a bit predictable but it is fascinating to watch the partners unravel it as they learn to depend on each other and become a strong investigative pair.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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