Sunday, July 20, 2014

Justice for Sara by Erica Spindler - Book Review

          One night, there were two murders in the small town of Liberty.  Katherine McCall finds her sister, Sara, brutally murdered.   Someone had come into her home and beat her to death with a baseball bat.  The main suspect in the murder was Katherine because she would inherit all of her sister’s money.  

         Later on that night, a police officer named Wally was killed during a traffic stop.  The police tried to connect the two murders but were unsuccessful.  

           10 years later, Katherine came back to Liberty to open her bakery and find out who killed her sister after she was acquitted at her trial.  She would find an ally in Luke Tanner, the new sheriff of Liberty.  His father, the former sheriff, was the one who thought that Katherine had killed Sara. 

          I guess you could say that this book was a psychological thriller in combination with a murder mystery.  The elements of the psychological thriller were threats to Katherine when she came back to liberty such as finding a baseball bat in her home.  The mystery part was that there were a multitude us suspects that could have killed Sara.  

           The story moved from different points of view of characters from Luke Tanner to Sara McCall.  At other times, it moved to what happened the before and after the murders from different suspects who may have killed Sara.  It was hard to eliminate anyone and even harder to guess who killed Sara and Wally.   

             I thought that this made the book more dynamic like the mysteries that Bruno Fischer wrote with his detective, Ben Helm.  In that series, he wrote the book from different points of view that included all the suspects.  By the end, Helm would solve the murder.  

             While the book was a great mystery, I thought that the combination of it being a psychological thriller weakened the story.   Going from different points of view and replaying the murder scenes seems dynamic but I thought the story didn’t work well as a psychological thriller murder mystery as a result.  My feeling was that if the author made a choice to go either way, it would have been a better story with more suspense.  The only suspense I found that the story had was in guessing who the killer was. 

               The other point was the end, when we knew who the killer was.  Yes, there were twists and turns but the combination of the murder mystery psychological thriller let Sara and Luke to stumble over each other in solving the murders.  

              The best part of the Justice For Sara was the mystery of finding out who the killer was.  In any case, I would still give Justice for Sara four stars. 

Ron Hummer 

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