Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Review: Please Don't Tell by Elizabeth Adler

Fen Dexter lives alone in the wilderness with just her dog as a roommate. To begin with, this is not a scenario I would ever want to find myself in and combined with the rather detailed description of how a serial killer likes to slowly kill his victims, this book is definitely on the more gruesome side of the mystery genre for me.
Elizabeth Adler manages to come up with yet another mystery thriller and this one is a good one. A serial killer likes to bleed his victims out alone in the woods. He carefully selects his victims, often well in advance. The book starts off with a bang when we as readers are put in the woods, witnessing yet another kill by the serial killer. Even though he is disrupted by an approaching car, the methodical approach to his gruesome streak becomes obvious since he carefully checks that all his utensils are present in the car and he also looks forward to ending the life of the next victim, whom he has already carefully selected.

After this introduction, the reader is introduced to Fen, who has her comfy evening interrupted by a stranger that knocks on her door in the middle of a storm with a knife in his hand. We soon find out that there is something about this stranger that leads us back to the serial killer. Whether they are one and the same, we don’t know, but I got the strange feeling early on that Fen is closer to the serial killer than she knows.
But not all is dark in this book because Fen has two nieces; Vivian works in a hospital ER, in which she one night has to deal with the latest victim of the serial killer, while also being wooed by two equally attractive men. The psychiatrist Ralph Sandowski and the detective Brad Merlin show romantic interest in Vivian. As if Vivian had not enough on her plate already, her sister J. C. also enters her life. J. C. is out of money, needs a place to stay and seeks the assistance of her sister.

I like this book because the storylines involving Fen and her two nieces bring much needed lightheartedness to the book and provide a nice contrast to the dark chapters dealing with the serial killer. While I realized early on that Fen and her nieces are closer to the serial killer than I personally ever want to end up, this book is even for a skittish person like me enjoyable because the tense situations are interrupted by storylines involving Fen and her dog that reassure the reader that even with all the evil in the world, there are still an awful lot of just plain good people around

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