Body of the Crime

A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
208 Pages
Reviewed on 05/28/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jennifer Chase is an award-winning author and consulting criminologist. She has authored seven crime fiction novels, including the multiple award-winning Emily Stone thriller series along with a screenwriting workbook.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in police forensics and a Master's degree in criminology. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

She lives in California with her husband, dogs, and cats working on her next thriller.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Body of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery is a police procedural murder mystery written by Jennifer Chase. Detective Sergeant Hugh Murphy was the officer in charge of the investigation of the body of the young woman discovered by two hikers in a desolate stretch of forest. The bizarre arrangement, and savage treatment, of the corpse was eerily reminiscent of the work of the serial killer who several years ago had frustrated Murphy's efforts to apprehend him before he went underground. To make matters even worse, the crime scene was about to be contaminated by a gusty and soaking rainstorm. Unable to wait for the CSU, he directed a police officer to take photos of the corpse, and several of them trundled it into one of the police cruisers for transporting to the morgue. Murphy's day got even more frustrating when he learned that the District Attorney was getting involved in the case. DA Inspector Kate Rawlins would be working with him, and, Murphy suspected, Chip Palmer, the DA's profiler of choice, would be on the team as well.

Jennifer Chase's police procedural murder mystery, Body of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery, is an enthralling and fast-paced read. I particularly enjoy police procedural mysteries and was pleasantly surprised by this book. Chip Palmer is an outstanding character whose eccentricity works wonderfully with his encyclopedic interest in soil samples and a profiler's innate gifts. Chase's plot is tightly constructed and gives the puzzle-loving instincts of mystery fans plenty of fodder in the form of red herrings and possible suspects to work with. Kate Rawlins, the newly transplanted District Attorney's Inspector, is a grand foil for the otherworldly Chip, and their partnership is engaging and a treat to follow. Body of the Crime is an outstanding mystery novel that was a delight to read from beginning to end. I'm hoping to see more of Chip Palmer and will be watching for future mysteries featuring him. Body of the Crime is most highly recommended.

Trudi LoPreto

In Body of the Crime by Jennifer Chase, Chip Palmer is the special forensic profiler called in to use his expertise in finding the serial killer and solving the case. He is a very private man, allowing no one to know where he lives for fear that the many people he has sent to jail will try to kill him. D.A. Inspector Kate Rawlins is the homicide detective assigned to work with Chip. She is newly arrived from Phoenix and has carried her past baggage along with her. The Flower Girl Murders have three new cases and five cold cases of women killed exactly the same way with each body left in a very specific pose. Chip, Kate, and the other detectives assigned to the case are faced with life threatening situations including death, fire, explosions and more. We are privileged to jump into each of their heads and understand what both the good and bad guys are thinking. Body of the Crime has to be read in order to become part of the forensic team and share in the chilling events; it would ruin the story if I told you too much more.

Body of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery is everything it claims to be and more. The story is riveting and kept me glued to my chair, reading further and further into the book to discover who the Flower Girl Murderer really was. I had several ideas, but all of them were wrong. I really enjoyed Body of the Crime and believe that Jennifer Chase has written a book that portrays both the good and evil thoughts of the characters in a perfect blend of suspense. I found myself holding my breath as Chip and Kate faced the prospect of death several times, and cheered when they finally solve the case and go forward with their lives, sharing some romantic moments together. Body of the Crime should not be passed by; it is a winner.

Arya Fomonyuy

Body of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery by Jennifer Chase is a gripping detective story filled with action and a lot of “wow” moments. A serial killer is leaving a trail of dead bodies and he succeeds in taunting and evading the police. There have been three murders, all ghastly, and no one knows when or where the killer may strike again. These killings, known as the Flower Girl Murders could be linked to five previous homicides. The question is: who is doing the killings and why? The criminal profiler and forensic expert, Dr. Chip Palmer, is one of the best people who can unravel the mystery, so he is teamed up with Inspector Kate Rawlins, an intelligent and attractive detective, to solve the case. With the tools they have and the frequent conflict within the team, will they succeed against a killer who is every bit as informed as he is ingenious?

Jennifer Chase’s Body of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery captures the heart of forensic investigation with the creation of two powerful and compelling characters —  Dr. Chip Palmer and Inspector Kate Rawlins — but the author’s skill and expertise become even more powerful in the way she presents a psychotic mind, that of the killer. The plot is powerful and fast-paced, and the suspense created by the switch between subplots makes it more engaging and suspenseful. The author creates characters with different interests and methods of operation, which makes the plot-driven conflict inevitable. From the first page, the reader’s attention is arrested with the action and it is hard not to pay attention to the heartless killer who takes pleasure in torturing the victims. Jennifer Chase has a gift for excellent plot and characterization, but what will blow readers' minds is the way she leads them into the criminal mind of the killer. It is a delightful read, real, and absorbing.