Saturday, October 21, 2006

ALL MORTAL FLESH by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Thomas Dunne Books)

Every good mystery has tension. When Spencer-Fleming introduced Clare Fergusson, priest, and Russ van Alstyne, sherrif, four books ago, the immediate attraction they had for each other was enormous. Both, however, were bound to a code that prohibited their acting on the attraction because Russ was married. Now, Russ's wife has kicked him out of the house—he's moved back in with his mother; Clare has determined not to see him again. Circumstances change. Linda van Alstyne is found brutally murdered by a neighbor; the spouse is the obvious suspect; and the state police officer in charge of the investigation is determined that Russ is indeed the killer. Loyalties are important in this riveting story which I couldn't stop until I finished. Spencer-Fleming has garnered a shelf full of awards in her short career. I'd suggest making room for more—ALL MORTAL FLESH is her best yet.

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