Between Good and Evil
Review: There isn't much crime in the rural community of Auburn Notch, New Hampshire, and that's just fine with Sheriff Promise Flynn. She had left the Chicago Police Department under a cloud after surviving an attempt on her life, and she's enjoying her new position as sheriff as she works to put the past behind her. But then the body of a young woman is found on the grounds of a nearby abandoned asylum … and the details of the crime scene are eerily similar to one in which she is all too familiar, in Between Good and Evil, the first mystery in this series by R. Michael Phillips.
Promise finds it hard to believe that the same man who tried to kill her in Chicago is behind the woman's murder. But the burning black candle near the body, a signature the killer left at each of four murders in Chicago, cannot be a coincidence. Complicating her investigation is a reporter arriving from New York City, who seems to know more than he lets on about crime, and an FBI agent, who is convinced the candle is just that, a coincidence, and that he knows who the killer is and is determined to catch him, with or without Promise's help.
Between Good and Evil has an interesting premise for a mystery, but often seems to get caught up in its own complexity. There are too many characters in the cast and the storyline is overly and unnecessarily complicated, with the murder — and those yet to come — in Auburn Notch connected to not only those in Chicago but more in New York City and Seattle and a suicide in Vermont. The plot twist is a well-worn one; it isn't too hard to figure out who the unidentified man is in the occasional chapter in which he speaks, but the motive for the murders is uncertain and when revealed, is a bit of a surprise. The local (and presumably recurring) characters, most specifically Promise Flynn, are likeable and well-developed, and as the first in a series, it will be a pleasure to welcome them back in another mystery, one that is hopefully not quite as elaborate and a little less labyrinthine.
Acknowledgment: R. Michael Phillips provided an eARC of Between Good and Evil for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Rook, Rhyme & Sinker
Asylett Press (Trade Paperback), January 2011
ISBN-13: 9781934337981; ISBN-10: 1934337986
Location(s) referenced in Between Good and Evil: New Hampshire
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Between Good and Evil by R. Michael Phillips — An Auburn Notch Mystery
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Publication Date: January 2016
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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