A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery by Sarah Graves
Review: Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree is determined to finish a renovation project on a remote cabin in the woods, when her plans are interrupted by an escaped convict with murder on his mind in Dead Level, the 15th mystery in this series by Sarah Graves.
The narrative alternates between that of Jake (in first person) and everything else that goes on (in third person). While Jake and her best friend Ellie White head north out of Eastport, the foundation is being laid for Dewey Hooper, who has recently escaped from prison, to meet up with her. They do have a past history: in Hooper's trial, Jake provided the key testimony that put him behind bars for beating his wife Marianne to death. But Jake is not Hooper's intended target; it's Ellie, who bears a striking resemblance to his wife, a woman he's obsessed with even though she is dead.
Fans of this series will find no fault with Dead Level … though it should be said that not much, if any, new ground is broken here, and there's a sense that Jake and company have been there, done that before. The Maine setting is always attractively depicted in these books and the author does a fine job of incorporating it into the storyline. Indeed, this may be the strongest element of the book. But other than that, the psychotic killer on the loose with revenge on his mind and the isolated cabin where the intended victims are trapped are simply all too familiar plot devices that do little to generate any excitement for the reader in how it all plays out.
Each chapter opens with a home repair tip, but despite the book's subtitle — "Home Repair is Homicide" — the subject itself has little to do with what happens or why.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided an eARC of Dead Level for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Dead Level: Maine
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Dead Level by Sarah Graves — A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery
Publication Date: May 2012
List Price: $26.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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