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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
Give Place to Wrath by Steven C Harms tells the story of a police investigative team crossing state borders in the United States on the trail of what they come to realize is a serial killer. All the murdered victims are women, and their demises are closely followed by the suicides of their respective husbands. Each body is found with a number, each death is staged and gives countdown clues beginning with number six, the wife killed on a golf course in a massive explosion. The story is told from the point of view of the police team headed up by Roger Viceroy, who has demons of his failed marriage to contend with, and from the point of view of the killer himself. There is a Christian theme running throughout the book; Viceroy’s best friend is a local pastor whose church he attends.
I enjoyed reading Give Place to Wrath by Steven C Harms for several reasons. The characters were well drawn, and I could picture them very clearly. The writing flowed easily, which is very important for me as a reader. I also liked the realism. So often the main police chief has a lightning moment and solves the crime by connecting the dots and announcing the name of the killer. While Roger Viceroy looks for what he calls ‘molecules,’ the whole team is involved in the investigation. While the reader is slowly given the answers, it’s ‘Silk’ - the African American on the team - who discovers the basic information which joins those molecules. The killer also sends them direct clues, yet is smart enough to stay several jumps ahead. I also loved the intricate murders themselves, cleverly staged, each with a particular message as the countdown from six to one continues. The actions that begin the path to avenging the initial death, several years before in 1982, knit together so well that towards the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. A well-edited book, fun to read, and I shall look for more from this author.