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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.