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Written in Blood by Layton Green
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Written in Blood

by Layton Green

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1331,122,803 (4)None
"Detective Joe "Preach" Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children. No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina--a bohemian community near Chapel Hill--than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer's community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed. And one or both of them may be his next target"--… (more)

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Police procedural, if you're into that sorta thing, but a good one and recommended!

Elements this has:
- small town setting that's hiding very dark underground criminal elements beneath its Main Street facade
- small town politics and connections that have to be untangled and impede investigation progress
- involves a book store (I love when books/book stores play into plots)
- multiple murder scenes that are copies of those in literary works
- family-feud secrets come to light
- a bad apple police officer who may or may not be redeemable
- a damaged hero police officer
- a budding romance
- a strong female supporting character who could become a protagonist in her own right
- really bad baddies

Loved the three key characters: Preach, Ari, Kirby. Each was colorful, had a strong role, and was interesting in his/her own right with fully realized strengths and weaknesses.

This is stand alone, but could easily be built into a series. If it is, I'd love to read more about them in future installments and if it isn't, I'll look for more from Layton Green. ( )
  angiestahl | Sep 12, 2018 |
STORY-LINE WRITTEN IN BLOOD BY LAYTON GREEN:

In Written In Blood, Detective Joe "Preach" Everson, is back in his hometown of Creekville, N. C. After several breakdowns and the trauma of his last investigation in Atlanta, Preach needs to refuel and recoup. Preach never suspected the bohemian town of Creekville would be the sitting for several brutal murders with literary connections. Beginning with the killing of the local bookstore owner in a scene taken from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Preach is in for a roller coaster ride.

Ariana Hale, an employee of the bookstore, law student, and bibliophile, helps Preach with the literary connections. As the murders continue, time is running for Preach to solve these deaths, as well as, his and Ariana's life. My book reviews of Written In Blood follows.

CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:

Layton Green created a police procedural which will knock your socks off. With characters which are full-bodied, believable, and well-developed, Layton Green packed this book with a whirlwind of action, people, and relationships. I found the premise intriguing, and the action nonstop as Green led me through this investigation. Green created the typical small town which could be located anywhere in America. Under the small town facade, the reader finds greed, corruption, crime, deviance, and murder. To all appearances, Creedville is the perfect community until you dig under the surface and the scum floats to the top.

Detective Joe "Preach" Everson's character will fascinate the reader. From preacher to prison chaplain to detective, Joe "Preach" Everson's life has been one of turmoil and pain; he thought he had seen the worse man could offer. Hoping to recoup and restore in Creekville, Preach finds himself in the middle of multi-faceted murders. He's a man torn by guilt, mental breakdowns, and the need to protect, serve, and provide justice; with his mental stability in question, he's ordered to see a therapist. His therapist of choice is his Aunt Jane. She takes his case with a caveat; he will be referred to someone else if she finds he has a problem.

Using famous literary novels as the theme for the murders, the killer is elusive and smart. In a town full of criminal elements, Preach has a multitude of suspects. Layton included multi-plot lines, twists, and turns, and family dynamics into this highly suspenseful crime drama. He skillfully wove all the plot threads together, while keeping the suspense and mystery at a high peak. The action begins on the first page and continues throughout the story as Preach and his partner delve into the underbelly of Creekville. They find more than they bargained for as they dig into human lives and political arenas. Layton included a twist in Preach's partner; a man who is smart, greedy for success, and notoriety.

Including a romance element into the story added depth to this power-packed drama. Not only is she a romantic interest, but she also helps interpret the scenes literary connections. However, time is running out to the solve murders and save the next victim. Preach finds Ariana and himself in the crosshairs of the criminal element in town. With an ending which left me gasping, I could not believe the identity of the killer. I did not see that coming!

Layton writing's vividly descriptive and flows smoothly from scene to scene. His characters are well-developed and his storyline's fresh and original. I found myself worn to a frazzle as I closed this book, yet, thoroughly satisfied and entertained. Written In Blood is one of the best crime dramas I have read in some time. I could not put this book down. As a result, I suggest you get ready for a long day and night of reading as you delve into the town of Creekville. I would not hesitate to buy this book for myself or a friend.

WRITTEN IN BLOOD RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4

FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE:

Additionally, I received this book from the author and Edelweiss. I chose to voluntarily review the book with honest crime suspense book reviews. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. Also, ARC's do not influences my voluntary crime suspense books review. ( )
  vera_mallard | Nov 7, 2017 |
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The body was lying face up on a sheepskin rug
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