In the small town of Amaryllis, Mississippi, a killer has struck again. The sixth victim of the Closet Killer has been found and three women are convinced they know who the killer is. Unfortunately, their determination to prove that fact will result in three different men being arrested.
The last book by Seatbelt Suspense author Brandilyn Collins that was reviewed in this column, Over the Edge, is set in northern California’s medical world of Stanford University. This latest thriller, Gone to Ground, is set in small-town Mississippi and is a world away from northern California and the cutting-edge medical world of Stanford University.
All Brandilyn Collins’ books can be found at these northern California Christian bookstores.
Title: Gone to Ground
Author: Brandilyn Collins
Publisher: B&H Books (March 1, 2012)
List Price: $14.99
Cherrie Mae is a sixty-something Black cleaning woman for residents in Amaryllis, Mississippi. While cleaning the mayor’s home office one day, she discovers a drawer full of crime-scene photos and the ring of the latest Closet Killer victim. She is convinced the string of unsolved murders was commited by the mayor and sets to work to prove it.
Deena is a single woman who runs a beauty shop in the small Mississippi town. She also watches out for her younger brother who works as a clean-up man at the town factory owned by the mayor. When Stevie, who’s a little slow, shows up at her house one night after work, covered in blood and refusing to answer her questions, Deena is convinced her brother must have killed someone.
Tully is young, in love, and pregnant for the first time. Her husband Mike has a short temper and isn’t afraid to take his frustrations out on Tully, even though she is carrying his son. When Mike comes home late from work at the factory in a uniform different than the one he left in, Tully gets choked for asking questions. When she learns Erika has been murdered and then finds blood on the frame of her front door, she knows she is living with a dangerous killer. How can she get away and make sure Mike is apprehended before he kills again?
Brandilyn Collins has once again created a page-turning suspense novel that will delight fans of murder mysteries. Through the words of each of the women who are convinced they know who the Closet Killer is, the reader will become convinced of each man’s guilt and will spend time thinking about how each man could be the guilty party. Not until nearly the last page, are all the pieces in place to learn who is responsible for six murders in a sleepy little southern town.
The only thing that detracts from the novel is the ‘regional dialect’ that is so overpowering it often detracts from the well-crafted story. The dropping of g’s from the end of words and similar linguistic devices was not necessary to convey the ‘southerness’ of the characters. Aside from this issue, it was interesting to read the thought processes of each of the three women that were tasked with telling this story. Cherrie Mae, Deena, and Tully each had their own voice and it was clear who was ‘speaking’ each time the narration changed from one character to the next. This is Brandilyn Collins’ first time writing southern fiction, and she captures the nuances of life in the south and small-town America well.
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