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Following in the tradition of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta forensic series, Becka's sequel to her debut thriller, Trace Evidence, once again features Evelyn James, a forensic specialist in the Cleveland Medical Examiner's Office. Two women, with no apparent connection to each other, are found murdered in their immaculate and seemingly impenetrable homes, and a third woman, Evelyn's assistant, is discovered near death in her apartment building. There are no signs of forced entry and scant amounts of evidence and information. As Evelyn attempts to investigate, she also must cope with a lack of sleep, a teenage daughter, and a cop boyfriend pressuring her for a commitment. Although Becka uses story and character formulas not unlike Cornwell's, her Evelyn James character stands apart because she focuses on the trace evidence from crime scenes (and less on the physical findings derived from autopsies), has a more complicated set of relationships, and exhibits a good deal of humor and vulnerability, so readers can relate to her easily. This fast-paced, well-written, and entertaining narrative leaves the reader wanting the next book in the series. Recommended for all thriller and popular fiction collections.
—Nicole A. Cooke