262. Trail of Blood by Lisa Black

Trail of Blood by Lisa Black (Canada) - (US)
Theresa MacLean Mysteries, 3

Pages: 393
Ages: 18+
Finished: Nov. 22, 2010
First Published: Sep. 7, 2010
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: mystery, thriller
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

Fall had come early this year, and Theresa could see why people considered it the season of death.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: The publisher's summary grabbed me on this one and I just had to read it.

This is a fantastic serial killer thriller! What makes it even more thrilling is that is combines a true unsolved case from the 1930's, The Torso Killer, with a modern case of someone who is exactly duplicating that psycho's 12 (proven) murders consecutively over the next 12 days. This was a fabulous read! The narrative switches between the present case on which Theresa and her cousin Frank are working with the past telling the Torso Killer tale through the eyes of the detective who worked the original case. The whole thing starts when a building is being demolished and the construction workers find a sealed off room containing a mummified and decapitated body on a table, apparently a never found victim of the 1930's Torso Killer.

Great story with plenty of action taking place. We have two serial killers to keep us busy turning the pages and guessing who the unsubs will be. The past storyline is fascinating because it is all based on the true story, while Ms. Black has fictionalized it she did keep the details of each killing accurate. This storyline is given less page time than the main present day plot but the characterization of the main detective and the historical fiction aspects make a great story. The present day story arc is adrenaline-fueled as the connection to the past is made and the police are aware of exactly where each new victim will turn up and yet the killer still manages to outwit them every time. I like Theresa as a main character, as a forensic scientist she is called in to work the case from her professional side but with a family history of cops can't keep herself away from getting into the detective work as well. This isn't so hard since her cousin Frank is a cop and the detective who called her onto this case in the first place. Theresa and Frank make a delightful and unique team. Being cousins, there is no sexual tension as with most detective pairings, and this makes their chemistry together familial and refreshing as they joke, bicker and tease each other while also knowing each other better than they know themselves at times.

Apparently I read the first book in this series when it came out in 2008, Takeover, and I also own the 2nd book, Evidence of Murder, but have not read it yet and did not make the whole series connection until I started to read this one. I'll have to make sure I get book 2 read before book 4 comes out!


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