Disturbing the Dead
A Tom Bridger and Rachel Goddard Mystery by Sandra Parshall
Review: Disturbing the Dead, Sandra Parshall's second mystery, takes place in a small town in the foothills of the Virginia mountains. The crime is a 10-year old "cold-case" murder, and the hatred, fears and jealousies that were present then are still prevalent today. It's a story of a mixed race people, the Melugeons, dark in color with black hair and dark eyes. The Caucasians of the town believe they are a mixed race of American Indian, black and white trash. Tom Bridger is such a man. He left his home town for Richmond where he became a part of the Virginia Police Force but had to return when his father, the deputy sheriff, died unexpectedly. Tom took over his dad's post.
A skull and bones have been found in the mountain above the small town. They are the remains of Pauline Turner who vanished ten years ago. Pauline, a Melungeon, had fallen in love and married very wealthy Adam McCauley, a Caucasian, who adored her. Adam's family, two brothers and their wives never accepted Pauline. Adam's mother finally became somewhat friendly when Pauline presented her with her first grandchild. Now that Pauline's remains have been located, the lies, deceit and anger begin again. Both Pauline's family and Adam's family have secrets that they refuse to share with anyone, even each other.
Sandra Parshall portrays her characters in such a way that readers will think they really know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. But in all likelihood, they will be wrong. She takes us to the little town in the foothills and describes the lone, grimy café, and the broken-down wooden homes where the impoverished live. One can almost get claustrophobic reading about them. We see their old cars and trucks. Then we go to the city, away from the foothills where the elite live in mansions with servants and big beautiful cars. When she writes about the snow falling so beautifully, you can look out the window and almost see it.
This is a good mystery. It stays suspenseful until the very end. The reader can associate with the characters and can feel the mountain breeze in the same way they do.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Disturbing the Dead.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Disturbing the Dead for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9781590586532; ISBN-10: 1590586530
Location(s) referenced in Disturbing the Dead: Richmond, Virginia
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Disturbing the Dead by Sandra Parshall — A Tom Bridger and Rachel Goddard Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: March 2007
List Price: $24.95