Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson - Book Review #68

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The Christopher Killer
by Alane Ferguson

The sleepy Rocky Mountain town of Silverton, Colorado hasn’t seen a murder in years according to Pat Mahoney, the county coroner. So when his teenage daughter, Cameryn, asks if she can be his assistant as preparation for a career in forensic pathology he figures it s a safe bet. But neither of them imagines that their first case will involve someone Cameryn knows . . . the fourth victim of a serial killer.

Attending her first autopsy is more difficult than Cameryn had ever expected, but she’s determined to find her friend s murderer. Before long, Cameryn is plunged into a disturbing mystery, matching wits with everyone from the cantankerous medical examiner who doubts her abilities to the famous psychic who is predicting yet another death soon.
From goodreads.com

The Christopher Killer is a forensic mystery. I was hesitant to read it for quite a while. I like mysteries and I was always interested in forensic work. (Especially in forensic ballistics, regrettably, ballistics didn’t play any role in this book.) However, lately YA mysteries disappointed me more and more. I understand that I’m not a target audience for those books – I’m not a teenager anymore, but either authors that write YA mysteries became less smart than they used to be, or for some reason authors came to decision that teenagers became dumber, either way I usually able to guess the whole mystery pretty much from the page one. My another concern that made my hesitant to read The Christopher Killer was – I wasn’t sure how Alane Ferguson will deal with the whole teenager being the coroner’s assistant business. Will she make it sounds like it is no big deal? (and make it unrealistic.) Will she make it a huge deal? (and there would be no place for the mystery itself.)

Luckily, Alane Ferguson didn’t disappoint me and pleasantly surprised me. In my opinion, her mystery was solid. I didn’t guess who was the killer till the very end of the book, though I guess who wasn’t the killer, because Ferguson was making suspects from them sometimes too brutally obvious. She also resolved the issue with teenager being the coroner’s assistant quite gently and realistic.

I really enjoyed that the resolution of the mystery in The Christopher Killer wasn’t build on pure luck and evidentially unsupported guesses. Cameryn’s chain of reasons looked strong to me, with one exception when her reasoning were more of a lucky guess. But, hey, I’m fine with a bit of luck!

It undoubtedly looked like Alane Ferguson knows the subject she is writing about. It felt like she truly did a tremendous research to write this book. The Christopher Killer is full of tiny details that will fascinate and satisfy any forensic enthusiast. Even though, Ferguson’s detailed descriptions fulfill reader’s curiosity, these descriptions are so good that they leave you longing for more information on the subject.

But the greatest delight for me was a tiny detail that was barely mentioned at the end of the book and left untouched. (No, I’m not going to say what it was. It would be a major spoiler.) I only hope that I’m not over thinking it, like it happens quite often to me. I only hope that this detail was one of the cliffhangers for the second book in the series. I only hope that Alane Ferguson will not leave it unanswered and will develop it in the second or the third book. I only hope that it wasn’t just a coincidence and overlook from Ferguson. I only hope it was a real deal and I’m dying to find out how it will be resolved. So you probably guessed – I will definitely read second book in the forensic mystery series - The Angel of Death.


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