Case Thirteen

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
322 Pages
Reviewed on 01/30/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Feathers: Case Thirteen is a work of fiction in the mystery, sleuthing, and action/adventure subgenres. It is intended for the general reading audience from mature teens upward and was penned by author Blair Howard. Continuing the hugely successful Lt. Kate Gazzara Murder Files, this new and exciting case sees Kate meet the grisly reality of young women who have all been killed in violent, throat-slitting circumstances. But what else might they have in common? There are only feathers to lead Kate forward into a mysterious and dark network of sinister connections, and all she can hope is that the tough, no-nonsense approach she’s built up over the years will be enough to help her survive the horrible truth.

It is evident in every page penned by author Blair Howard that this is a writer who knows how to craft procedural mysteries to a tee. The fine art of clue placement, pace, and exposition is always in balance, and just when readers think there’s nothing more to discover about a particular element of the case, Kate finds something that turns the plot on its head even more. I also really enjoyed the concise and confident control Howard takes of the narrative, cutting to the quick with relevant details, but also giving breathing room where it’s due for the deeper moments that need to sink in for all their chilling, suspense-building glory. Kate’s emotional arc was also interesting and far from generic, making Feathers a procedural mystery drama that fans of the existing series and newcomers alike will not want to miss.

Nicholus Schroeder

Feathers: A Lt. Kate Gazzara Novel, Book 13, is a detective story by author Blair Howard. Captain Kate Gazzara receives a call from dispatch, one with news that she dreads as another body has been found. That makes four so far, and Kate hasn’t made much progress in the case. To make matters worse, their serial killer seems to be getting more violent with each kill as the fourth victim was decapitated. All that Kate has to go on is the killer’s peculiar calling card; a couple of mockingbird feathers found at each crime scene. Kate faces mounting pressure from her superior, the media, and from the bereaved families, but despite her unit’s best efforts they still aren’t any closer to apprehending the killer. This is sure to be Kate’s most difficult case to date and one that will leave her scarred for life.

Blair Howard did a really good job of keeping me engaged as it was near impossible to take a break from reading this book. The plot was just that good and I like how there were numerous developments in the case throughout the story. That also kept me glued because there was always a meaningful lead or point of interest in subsequent chapters. I also love how there was absolutely no filler content - each chapter was relevant to the plot. The detective work was great too and a joy to read. It’s incredible how Blair Howard was able to suck me into the world of Kate Gazzara as I found myself looking for clues in each location of interest. Speaking of Kate, she was a really well-written character. I enjoyed getting to know her and the rest of her team. Overall, Feathers ticked all the right boxes for me and that’s why I have no issue recommending this amazing book to readers that love detective novels.