Thursday, February 28, 2008

F.M. Meredith - Smell of Death Review

I'm pleased to day to be participating in a virtual book tour for F.M. Meredith. The Smell of Death has just been recently released and for the month of February there has been a virtual book tour going on to spread to the word of this wonderful novel. After reading my review take a few minutes to see the other stops along the way. Here is the link to Pump Up Your Book Promotions.

Smell of Death
F.M. Meredith
Tigress Press, LLC
ISBN 10: 0-9793857-5-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-9793857-5-9
US. Price: $13.95

Book Description:
A missing child, strange burglaries, and the inexplicable murder of a mother and her daughter disrupt the peaceful beach community of Rocky Bluff, CA. Officer Stacey Wilbur, first on the scene for both murders, assists Detective Doug Milligan with the investigations and finds herself breaking her long-standing rule to never date anyone who works for the Rocky Bluff P.D.

Smell of Death is the fourth book in the Rocky Bluff PD series. The novel contains all the elements of great crime story and includes a realistic portrayal of Stacey Wilbur, a young mother, who is widowed and devoted to her job as a police officer with the force. There are three investigations running through the book, the deaths of Darlene Brantley and her mother, a missing toddler and the search for the Barefoot Burglars. Throughout the story Meredith does a fine job off exploring the private lives of the characters and adds a layer of realism to what motivates the police to do their job and how they deal with the pain and guilt of their work. In doing so, the reader gets caught up in the story and feels the emotions also.

There is a nice balance in the book as Meredith allows Wilbur to explore the idea of breaking her long standing rule regarding dating someone on the force. As Wilbur and Detective Doug Mulligan work closely on a few cases it is easy to understand how a temptation at romance can begin. In allow Wilbur to have a taste of romance and deal with her past, the death of her husband, it nicely balances some of the unpleasantness of the crimes that she is involved in solving.

In addition to the romantic nuances that are present, Meredith also does a nice job with exploring the depth of guilt in Felix Zachary. Zachary shot and killed an unarmed suspect and this has cost him his change at a promotion in the department. But, this is not all that it has cost him as Zachary has to deal with the internal emotional turmoil of what this event means to him.

Smell of Death is a nice police procedural and adds a nice element of romance to soften some the horrors of the crimes that are solved in the book. Meredith demonstrates her ability to write well defined characters and to deftly handle multiple subplots in this novel. This is one book worth checking out.

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