Thursday, February 4, 2016

Drawing Blood (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Author:  Deirdre Verne
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback; Ebook
ISBN #:  9780738742281
Midnight Ink Publishing
336 Pages
$14.99; $11.99
February 8, 2016
Five Stars

When Big Bob, manager of the town recycling center, goes missing, CeCe is worried about more than where she'll score her next salvaged car.  As one of the only people present when Bob's body is recovered from under the weekly recycling haul, CeCe is able to identify witnesses and provide sketches of the scene.  But when she's startled by an unidentified woman at Bob's empty house, CeCe's artistic talents are challenged and her drawings come up short.  With her observational skills on the fritz, CeCe joins Detective Frank DeRosa and her network of Freegan friends to re-create Big Bob's life from the garbage up.  The team is soon thrust into the underworld of recycling, where what appears to be junk could actually be the clue that saves a life.


CeCe Prentice and her friends are Freegans, who are people who believe in not wasting anything.  They pretty much "dumpster dive" for food and possessions.  She is also a skilled portrait artist, and has done work for the local police from time to time.

When her friend Bob, the manager of a recycling plant, disappears, CeCe knows he wouldn't just walk away.  And when his body is recovered in a massive pile of garbage, she knows there was foul play afoot.  The death seems even more suspicious when there is a discovery regarding computer hard drives which is traced back to Bob, and which leaves Detective Frank DeRosa, CeCe, and her computer whiz roommate Charlie looking for a killer.

Yet it is also time for her friend and housemate Katrina to soon give birth, and with Katrina's other half Jonathan away at med school, it leaves CeCe and Charlie to watch over her; while the sudden appearance of a mysterious woman whom everyone assumes to have something to do with Bob's murder, but can't be located.

As if this weren't involved enough, CeCe is looking for her child, if she has one.  Her father, while doing scientific experiments, decided to harvest her egg years ago and use it an a biological experiment.  And here's where it gets tricky:  Her brother, now deceased, was not her biological brother.  He was adopted, and her father, unbeknownst to both of them, used his sperm with her egg, and CeCe wants to know if there was a child of that union.  To make things more problematic, Frank, who is also her boyfriend, happens to be her late brother's biological twin, which would make him the uncle of any child found.  Intrigued?  Confused?  Trust me, it's worth reading, but you must stay with the plot all the way through or you could miss a key point.  However, this is not a book you are likely to put aside once reading it.

Once CeCe begins to delve into the world of:  Where is Bob's killer?  Where is Bob's widow?  Where is my egg?  Where is Katrina's baby?  it seems there is a whole lot of 'wheres' but no answers, and CeCe, not the most patient of people in the first place, wants the questions answered.  What we wind up with is the fact that Ms. Verne is able to skillfully blend a myriad of plots together and connect them in such a way to keep you guessing throughout.  While the book runs into a veritable quagmire, things do manage to keep interesting without being confusing, and keep you interested in finding out the truth all around.  Again, as in the first in the series, it takes some time to unravel, yet you eventually see all the pieces and how they fit together.  Highly recommended.

More on Deirdre Verne's books:


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