Scene of the Crime

A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
320 Pages
Reviewed on 05/21/2018
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, 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, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Scene of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery by Jennifer Chase is a tantalizing crime novel with sharp characters and a plot that will take readers on a dizzy ride. It’s a story of murder enmeshed in mystery, with a community rocked by two murders while memories still linger of a serial killer that was on the loose six months ago. What readers have here are complex crimes orchestrated by a psychopath acting like a puppet master — the Slayer — who enjoys working in his playground, The Dark Net. Now Dr. Chip Palmer, a forensic expert, and DA Inspector Kate Rawlins are brought in to handle the case. With little evidence to work on, the investigative team feels frustrated and stuck. But things change when the case gets handed over to the FBI. The problem is that members of the team are in danger and it won’t be long before the killer comes for them. Can they muster the necessary resources and solve the case before it becomes nastier than it already is?

This is a great story with a powerful plot. It isn’t easy to find a serial killer operating from behind the computer screen. Jennifer Chase makes the story even more complex by creating crime scenes that leave neither evidence nor motive. The narrative is enriched by the attraction between Chip and Kate, and Chip’s accident that has a surprising effect on his memory. The novel is well-researched and the author demonstrates a good understanding of forensics and working criminal cases. The writing is great and the character development is impeccable. I enjoyed the portrait of the Slayer, the monster in the story, and how the author explores his stream of idle thoughts as he contemplates his work from a safe distance. The author has the gift for suspense and she uses it brilliantly to keep the reader’s attention on the story. Scene of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery is a well-written and enormously satisfying read.

Viga Boland

If you’re a fan of the TV show Criminal Minds, you’ll appreciate this forensic mystery, Scene of the Crime, by Jennifer Chase. But don’t expect this crime fiction to zip along like so many page-turning whodunits do. That’s not to say Scene of the Crime isn’t a page-turner. It is. But because Jennifer Chase holds a bachelor’s degree in police forensics and has a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice, she offers readers so much more to think about in her novels…and she certainly has written a lot of those!

The beauty of getting stuck into Scene of the Crime is, thanks to Chase’s background, its authenticity. Chase’s protagonists are a female DA police inspector, Kate Rawlins, and a reclusive forensic expert, Dr. Chip Palmer. Through these two characters Chase is able to engage us not only on a manic search for a brutal and very clever “slayer”, but she is able to detail for the reader how indeed it is possible to track down such a serial killer through behavioural analysis and forensics. Mind you, there are times when you wonder about Chip’s almost superhuman ability to suddenly see things no one else sees and cleverly piece together what the best investigators can’t, but that just adds even more mystery to what is already an engaging mystery.

You will also be mildly amused by Chip’s accident-prone disposition, and warm to both Kate and Chip as each fights the feelings they have for each other. The award-winning and prolific author that we have in Jennifer Chase is skilled at writing crime fiction that gives readers thrills, challenges their intellects, and affords them some relief via humour and romance. It’s a combination that works in this second book of the Chip Palmer series of forensic mysteries. Enjoy.

Robert A. Groves

From award winning author Jennifer Chase comes the second Chip Palmer forensic mystery installment, Scene of the Crime. A California community is tormented by The Slayer just a mere few months after it underwent and is still in the recovery process from another heartless serial killer. How much can one community bear? But have no fear, forensic scientist Dr. Chip Palmer comes to the rescue, teaming up with District Attorney investigator Kate Rawlins. A love of science and justice is not the only thing Chip and Kate share. And to add to the suspense is an injury, a kidnapping, and the FBI’s involvement, which results in a clash of personalities. They don’t have a suspect nor a precise motive, but sifting through mounds of evidence together, they link all the clues to find a most unlikely suspect and a mind-blowing motive. Scene of the Crime will leave you breathless.

Jennifer Chase’s Scene of the Crime kept me on the edge of my chair from the first to the last pages. If you missed her first book of the series, Body of Crime, do not worry. She gives you enough background information to catch up. However, you will be wanting to go back and read the first book when you finish Scene of the Crime. The reader gets to know the book’s protagonist, Dr. Chip Palmer, intimately as he tells his parts of the story in first person. Chase’s plot twists and turns are masterfully choreographed and leave you panting for the next chapter. While some of the scenes are quite graphic, they are done tastefully and add finesse to the overall storytelling. And her alternative characters do not take a back seat to the protagonist. They are all evocative, bold and strong in their own right. If you have not discovered Jennifer Chase and her books yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Scene of the Crime by Jennifer Chase is a Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery. Six months ago, a serial killer swept through town and the community is barely pulling itself back together when two more murders happen. The crime scenes are contaminated beyond belief, hindering police investigations. The Slayer is in control here, leaving no real evidence at the scenes, forcing the DA to bring forensic expert Dr. Chip Palmer back in to team up with DA Inspector Kate Rawlins to try to get to the bottom of these horrific crimes. To make things worse, there is definite chemistry between them. Then the unthinkable happens – Palmer falls and hits his head. Instead of putting him out of the investigation, the bang gives him special abilities – specific detailed recall. Together with Rawlins, a team is put together and, when one of them is taken and the FBI takes over, the team must pull together and work alone to bring The Slayer down.

Scene of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery is a fascinating story. It starts well, and it just gets better and better, a real edge-of-the-seat gripping story. It’s a bit gruesome in places, but then that just adds reality – no real-life murder is pretty so why should a fictional story skip the details? I have not read any of the previous Chip Palmer books, but I felt that the character development was sufficient so that I knew these characters well. The chemistry between them is electric and the way this has been written, you could feel every emotion, almost as if you were there. This is a great story, something different from many other crime stories, perhaps because it felt so real. I would thoroughly recommend it to any fans of murder mystery stories. Be prepared for lots of twists and turns; you won’t know where the story is heading until you get there!

K.J. Simmill

Scene of the Crime: A Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery is written by Jennifer Chase. Chip was dealing with the aftermath of a crazed psychopath laying waste to his home six months ago the only way he knew how. He was keeping busy, restoring his home and working hard. But just because he was away from the crime scenes didn't mean the horrors of murder simply stopped. A string of bizarre murders saw the police chasing their tails, and if there was any evidence as to the perpetrator it would probably be overlooked, given the state of the scenes. They needed an expert; they needed Doctor Chip Palmer. Soon his new team is on the job, but it could very well be more than they bargained for, especially when the killer strikes too close to home.

Being written in alternating perspective between Chip Palmer's first person and alternative characters' third person gives the reader a great opportunity to not only get insight into the inner workings of the protagonist, but also provides a fleshed out version of events, characters, and scene setting. And what a scene setter Jennifer Chase is. From the disturbing to the everyday, graphic and vivid scenes assault the reader's every sense. Whilst Scene of the Crime is the second book of the series, it operates seamlessly as a standalone. Anything you need to know is explained in a way that not only fills in any blanks, but makes a reader curious and intrigued enough to want to visit the first book for a fuller picture. Written with brilliant prose and enhanced by vivid characters and a plot that keeps you on your toes, this is a must for mystery fans. If you're looking for action, danger, mystery, and evolving characters and relationships wrapped in a high stakes situation, then look no further.