Beware the menace posed by a dying man, a sniper in the woods and killer ladybugs.
Accountant P.J. Benson recently inherited her grandfather’s farm in rural Michigan. During tax season, she has no time for outside interests, but when she’s suspected in the murder of a stranger who dies in her dining room, she’s forced to turn sleuth. Her neighbors, missing a box they say contains genetically altered ladybugs whose bite is fatal, beg P.J. to help find it without informing the police. The dead man turns out to be a carpenter who built a laboratory in their barn. His tendency to talk too much when drinking may have cost him his life. As break-ins continue at P.J.’s house, handsome homicide detective Wade Kingsley, who’s attracted to her, wonders if her mother’s schizophrenia runs in the family. P.J. must also deal with her lesbian neighbors, one of whom expected to get part of P.J.’s inherited property. After making a scene at a party, she brings P.J. a stew laced with sleeping pills. Although P.J. and her Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Baraka, suffer no ill effects, the cops suspect she dosed herself. Another neighbor, angry with P.J., provides an important clue about the CROWS, an environmental watchdog group whose members may be violent.
Veteran romancer Soule skillfully combines suspense, mystery and romance in a fast-moving tale.
Pub Date:Dec. 12th, 2007
Review Posted Online: May 20th, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007
5 out of 5 stars. Harriet Klausner – THE CROWS is a creative well written psychological suspense thriller., December 17, 2007
CPA P.J. Benson moves away from Kalamazoo into a small house she inherited from her paternal grandfather in Zenith Michigan, a farming community where nobody locks their doors. This proves to be a mistake as P.J. discovers when she is taking a walk in the woods and she hears shots ring out. She rushes home finding a blood trail that leads to her kitchen until she reaches a dead man.
Detective Wade Kingsley is put in charge of the case and feels that P.J. is a possible suspect even though she doesn’t know the man. Her closest neighbors John and Julia think they know who the victim was and they believe he stole bioengineered lady bugs from a lab. They can’t tell the police because John brought them home from work without permission. Several times P.J. feels someone has been in her home but the police think she is crazy (a sore spot for her because her mother is a schizophrenic) but she knows where each pf her belongings are supposed to be. When certain evidence comes to light, Wade believes her and wants her to stay at his sister’s house until they can figure out what is going on. P.J. refuses and almost gets them both killed from a ghost out of her past.
Since mental illness runs in her family, P.J. ponders if the things that are happening to her are hallucinations like a jealous lesbian poisoning her food or her hearing the voice of someone dead for eighteen years over the phone. She comes to realize she is as sane as anyone else and somebody is playing mind games with her. The mystery is well constructed with different neighbors at different times coming under suspicion. THE CROWS is a creative well written psychological suspense thriller.
The Crows was a great quick read that always kept me waiting to read more. I loaned it to my husband and he really enjoyed it as well. Who was really the murderer? Why was this the house? How can she get herself out of the mess she is accidentally caught up in? Who keeps breaking in? These are all questions waiting to be answered. You will be very surprised at the answers.
Very intense, interesting and well planned. I couldn’t put the book down. I’ve read the author’s books before and they are ALL worth reading. Definitely a great choice of reading material and even a better price.
4 out of 5 stars. Creative Thriller with a Surprise Ending, April 11, 2009
I discovered this book at my local library in a display showcasing local authors. Curious I picked it up and was glad that I did. This was a great book. Often when I read mysteries, I can figure out how it’s going to end. I assumed that I did with this one, I was even getting frustrated with the heroine for not figuring it out along with me. Boy was I wrong! The ending was nothing like I thought it was going to be. This book is a great psychological journey. As PJ unravels the pieces, nothing is what it seems and the mystery is masterfully done.