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Brain Storm

An Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery by Elaine Viets

Brain Storm by Elaine Viets

Review: Angela Richman is a death investigator in the area of Chouteau Forest, a town some thirty miles from St. Louis. She responds promptly to death scenes acting as primary official in charge of the body, personal effects and evidence. She also participates in determining the cause, manner and contributing factors involved with the death. She would write a report, which would be sent to the Medical Examiner, who would rule on the official cause of death. Angela's job is cut short, however, while investigating the death of a teenaged girl, who was killed in an accident while racing other teenagers who were drunk and texting while driving. Angela subsequently became ill during the days of the investigation. She felt disoriented, but thought she was simply having a severe migraine headache. When she fainted she was taken to the Sisters of Sorrow Hospital, where prominent neurosurgeon Dr. Gravois misdiagnosed her problem and sent her home. She was soon brought back unconscious, put under the care of another resident neurologist, Dr. Jeb Travis Tritt, after having suffered a series of crippling strokes. Dr. Tritt did brain surgery immediately. Angela was in a coma for nineteen days. Still under massive doses of medication and hallucinating she learned that the great beloved Dr. Gravois had nearly killed her with his misdiagnosis and the much less renowned Dr. Tritt actually saved her life. During a heated argument between Gravois and Tritt, the latter was overheard as threating the life of his fellow doctor. When Gravois is found dead, there was only one suspect according to the police and the residents of Couteau Forest, and that was Dr. Tritt, in Brain Storm, the first mystery in this series by Elaine Viets.

With scant evidence the police arrested Dr. Tritt. When Angela heard this, though still heavily drugged and at times hallucinating, she felt she must do all she could to help prove Trist's innocence. But she wonders if she will be able to restore her investigative powers with the damage done to her brain. Her headway seems to be impeded at just about every step. If she can't find proof that someone else killed Dr. Gravois, Dr. Tritt, who saved her life, will almost certainly lose his.

There is certainly much to like about this first in series crime novel. The characters are well-drawn, from Angela Richman and her experience recovering from her strokes, to her close friend, pathologist Katherine Kelly Stern, who assists Angela with her investigation. The murder mystery storyline is intricately crafted, and with Angela not quite sure what is real and what is a consequence of her hallucinations, the reader is kept in the dark, guessing as to whodunit and why. A strong start to this series.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Brain Storm.

Acknowledgment: Thomas & Mercer provided a copy of Brain Storm for this review.

Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Killer Cuts by Elaine VietsKiller Cuts
NAL Books (Hardcover), May 2009
ISBN-13: 9780451226860; ISBN-10: 0451226860

Location(s) referenced in Brain Storm: St. Louis, Missouri

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Brain Storm by Elaine Viets

Brain Storm by An Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-5039-3631-7
Publication Date:
List Price: $15.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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