Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A New Mystery Author to Watch!

I try to read as many new authors as I can each season before I go out and sell to customers, but even as a fast reader, I can’t get to them all! So, I must admit to having to fish the galley of Singularity by Kathryn Casey out of the pile to read after the starred reviews starting coming in (PW and Booklist). I’m so glad that I did- the reviews were right, it is a fantastic book.

While Singularity is Casey’s first fiction novel, she already has five true crime titles to her credit. Singularity introduces Texas Ranger profiler Sarah Armstrong. She is called in to help the Galveston Police Department come up with a profile of a killer who has murdered a local businessman and his mistress, and then arranged the bodies in a creepy tableau. It quickly becomes apparent to her that this murder is the work of a very disturbed serial killer but the local police refuse to accept her profile, and instead arrest the businessman’s estranged wife. Sarah continues her investigation to the point of putting her career on the line and in doing so attracts the personal attention of the killer, who starts to focus in on Sarah- and her family.
The mystery is well crafted, the villain extremely creepy and the dynamics between the various levels of law enforcement is fascinating and rings true. But what struck me particularly was the very memorable character of Sarah. She actually reminds me of Linda Barnes’ Carlotta Carlyle in that she is tough-as-nails in her professional life but is dealing with a lot on the home front. Sarah’s husband (also a Texas Ranger) was killed in a car accident a year ago. She has moved back home to her mother’s ranch and is trying to juggle the demands of her career with the needs of her young daughter Maggie, who is having a hard time coping with the loss of her father. Sarah also has a rather unusual hobby- she is a former art major and lets off steam by sculpting facial reconstructions on unidentified human remains.

Singularity is a great read from start to finish, so get your hands on a copy of this book this summer. You won’t be disappointed! And, it looks like we won't have to wait long for more Sarah Armstrong books- according to Kathryn Casey's website, there are more Sarah Armstrong books coming in 2009 and 2010.

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