Sunday, February 10, 2013

CARVED IN DARKNESS by Maegan Beaumont_Review

Review of Carved in Darkness by Maegan Beaumont
Reviewed via NetGalley

An excellently worked suspense thriller, “Carved in Darkness” is one of those can’t-put-down-until-finished novels. The reader’s hook blew me away and I never looked back-or never looked away-from the story till it ended. A killer who abducts young, blue-eyed, girls, then hides them away, and assaults and torments them unto death; the few clues are that he only strikes on October 1. His first victim, Melissa Walker, nearly died. In fact, the killer thought she was dead: no heartbeat, no pulse. So he abandoned her in a churchyard, and she was discovered, submitted to multiple surgeries including cosmetic rejuvenation, and sent far away to live under an assumed name, in a new life. She’s Sabrina Vaughn, San Francisco Police Department Homicide Inspector, a tough lady with an ugly job. She is also raising her two younger siblings, Riley and Jason, and they live with her best friend, Valerie Hernandez, whom Melanie worked with when she lived in Yuma.

Author Maegan Beaumont delivers a very gritty tale, yet the violence is not gratuitous; it’s part of the plot and a significant part of the characterization. I especially loved the way in which she, like a 1920’s fan dancer, pulled the veil across the mystery suspect, then withdrew it slightly, then covered him again, and on and on so that the identity of the killer is not telegraphed at all, but works itself throughout the plot. The reader is not cheated by early revelation, and as a decades-long reader of mystery and suspense, I very much appreciate that.

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