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    Fabulous Female Protagonist

    I've commented before about how much I love Brash Books and its mission to "publish the best crime novels in existence." With the publication of Jane Waterhouse's Garner Quinn trilogy, beginning with Graven Images, Brash Books has exceeded (if that's possible) that lofty goal. Garner Quinn is a female true-crime author. I have wracked my brain for another crime series featuring a true-crime writer, rather than the ubiquitous current or former cop or serviceman/private detective/thriller writer (not to mention the cooks and innkeepers of the cozy mystery world, of which I am not a part), and have been unable to come up with one. Waterhouse's choice of lead is inspired; the book blends the real-life reportage and legal wrangling of true crime with the mystery and suspense of crime fiction to create a novel and gripping point of view. Garner knows how bad her subjects can be, so when they invade her personal life, her fears are well-founded. In describing Graven Images to fellow members of the Goodreads Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group, I said I "inhaled" the book, and that is an accurate description of the book's effect on me; it has permeated my consciousness to such an extent that other mysteries seem dull and their protagonists lacking in personality. Garner virtually leaps from the page, and her voice is dry but not cynical. Here she is, describing another character she meets at a costume party dressed as Shakespeare's Juliet (Garner, of course, is wearing a red dress): "She wasn’t quite the ingenue she’d masqueraded as at the museum gala. Elizabeth Rice had been around the block a couple of times. In the rain. During humid weather." I can't wait to see who she skewers next. Verdict: Be poised over the "buy now" button when Graven Images hits the shelves on May 23. I received a free copy of Graven Images from Brash Books in exchange for an honest review.
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    Guaranteed to Get Your Pulse Pounding

    This is an outstanding story with action taking place on many levels. It combines a mystery thriller with intense psychological development, several character studies and a little romance. Garner Quinn, a true crimes author, is the protagonist, but several other characters are treated in depth and add to the entertainment value of the book. Garner's father is a famous lawyer with no time for her. She suspects a famous artist is her real father at one point. She has her own daughter who feels left out of her mother's life, and a family caretaker who bridges three generations. All the loose threads and subplots come together in a suspenseful ending guaranteed to get your pulse pounding.
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    Graven Images

    Couldn't get into this book. After a couple of attempts gave it away. Didn't like the characters and didn't seem to be going anywhere. I don't usually give up on books but did this one. I like to have a book I look forward to picking up but unfortunately didn't with this one.

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