Some covers have the ability to grab you. That was the case with this read – just have a look at the gorgeous cover below! However, just because a book is pretty, does not mean it is worth reading. The title and description of the book give off strong murder mystery vibes which is something I have not read much of recently, so I thought I’d give this one a shot.
Title: Murder on the Lake of Fire
Author: Mikel J Wilson
Age Classification: Adult
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Release: December 1, 2017
The story begins by explaining the title – the body of Britt Algarotti, a teenage ice skater, has been found in a frozen lake in Barter Ridge but the cause of her death was fire. Special Agent Emory Rome is sent by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) to investigate the crime in his hometown and is met with many obstacles including Jeff Woodard – a private investigator hired by Britt’s father. What makes things worse is that during the investigation Britt’s trainer is also murdered making the case even more puzzling.
Emory Rome is a by-the-book kind of guy and is very dedicated to his job, though he is not without flaws as he has his own bucket of issues and secrets he has kept hidden that he is forced to face during this investigation. When he begins the investigation with his very unhelpful partner Wayne they discover Jeff is working the same case. Emory tries to push him to the side believing he will only hinder the investigation but once it becomes clear that Jeff is not going to back off the two eventually join forces to work out this crazy web of a case. Trying not to spoil a major plot point here, but I love the development of Emory during the book and how Jeff contributes to this development.
Jeff Woodard, the PI, is a lively character and not what you would expect from a PI. He and his business partner, Virginia, are not into following the rules the same way Emory is. This is problematic in many ways during the novel but does serve its purpose to the storyline. Jeff is a mysterious character in that I could never quite figure out if he is to be trusted or not.
Another character worth mentioning is Sherrif Rome, Emory’s father, who has his own idea of the law which leads to quite a few hiccups in the investigation. He may not be able to solve a murder, but he is a kind-hearted man who really just wants do the right thing by everyone and I believe that is wonderful.
It was well written and very well thought out mystery, though I was not overly keen on the occasional swapping of point-of-view. I feel they mystery element would have been more thrilling had we only had the one character to experience it through. While the timing of the story was pretty good it does suggest the case was open and closed within a week and I wonder if this is a realistic timeline for the personal developments.
Being a murder mystery means I was looking for a difficult case with clues that did not seem to add up until the end and I got it. Problem is, I had three suspects in mind for who was guilty and, well, I was not surprised. I was, however, surprised by how it all came to be and what prompted the murders. I was also slightly disturbed by some of the secrets uncovered during the investigation – that character needs serious therapy – but it did help to make the story all the more chilling.
I need to mention a couple things I had problems with.
First up is Emory TBI partner Wayne. Trust me, if you find yourself liking the characters of Emory and Jeff, you will strongly dislike Wayne by the end. This is not a problem with the book because it does make sense to the story, just what he does makes me want to be sick.
Next is a mysterious character that I will not detail further so not to spoil the story for anyone. This character pops up multiple times and does some pretty strange things, but they are never fully explored. Given Murder on the Lake of Fire seems to be the first book of the Mourning Dove Mysteries series it is likely this character will be explored in the second book, however, until the second book is available to read the mystery character will remain a point that bothers me.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆
I thought this was a really good book and I hope to read more about Emory and Jeff in a second book.
Are you a fan of murder mysteries?
Do you think you will read Murder on the Lake of Fire?
Do you have little bookish pet peeves that bother you too much to ignore?
Until next time bibliophiles!
A digital copy of this book was supplied to me by Xpresso Book Tours via NetGalley