Death Benefits (Southern Fraud Thriller #2)

Death Benefits (Southern Fraud Thriller #2)

by J. W. Becton, Jennifer Becton
4.1 13

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Death Benefits: A Southern Fraud Thriller 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the second book in this series about Julia & her work as a special Agent. A great read with humor, romance & of course a mystery thrown in to keep you turning the pages to see what is next.Love what is happening between Julia & Vincent & getting to know all the secondary characters a little better. Now on to the third in this series. JudyE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JW continues series with Julie Jackson being assigned complicated case of life insurance fraud, family crises, and evolving relationships. Becton weaves plausible plots & subplots together in page-turning manner. We learn a bit more about each character, relate to many flaws. I enjoy learning through fiction, even mundane bits about insurance. There is humor albeit subtle. Can recommend Diane Kelly Death, Taxes & French Manicure for those who like this.
JakkiL More than 1 year ago
Becton hits readers with another thriller. Starting with page one, the reader is dropped right into the action. From imagery to characters and banter, Becton continually gains and keeps her reader’s attention. I was so absorbed in the investigation, I found myself taking mental notes as I tried to uncover this mystery alongside the special agents. As the climax approached, I was right there in the action with Julia and Vincent. When a dead body is discovered, special agents Julia Jackson and Mark Vincent are left with many questions. They must determine if this is a simple death benefits case or something more. Kathy Vanderbilt has one million reasons why she would want her husband dead, but she might not be the only one. In addition to uncovering this mystery, Julia is still secretly working on discovering the identity of her sister’s rapist. With another lead, Julia must try to keep those closest to her from getting involved. It is Becton’s ability to create vivid scenes for her readers that helps make them feel a part of the story. Whether her characters are in the office, interviewing a suspect, or on the scene, it is easy to see, feel and relate to them. Part of what makes the reader a part of the story are the characters. They are real characters, with real issues, and can be found in anyone’s community. In Julia and Helena’s relationship, I can visualize conversations I have with my best friend over a cup of coffee. Vincent’s desire to reconnect with his estranged son makes him more than a steamy piece of eye candy oozing masculinity. And who doesn’t know, or want to know, a feisty, blue-haired lady like Mrs. Twilley who cracks readers up with her expressions and ability to wield a cane? Let’s not forget Kathy Vanderbilt who represents the southern redneck who needs her “respects.” Let me say, Becton knows her southern lifestyle, and I could see many facets of my southern friends in her characters. That made it all the more enjoyable. Adding to the reality of her descriptions and characters is the dialog, which is natural and not forced, especially the banter between Julia and Vincent. Beware: smiling, chuckling, and sighing might be the result of experiencing a conversation with Vincent, leaving the reader eager for the next novel to find out exactly what is in store for Julia and Vincent. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I was left with a few unanswered questions. I am not sure those questions will be answered in the next book, but I am anxious to find out more about Tricia’s rapist coming to justice and to see what awaits Vincent and Julia. No doubt there will be more swoon-worthy moments involving Vincent. ARC copy provided by author
Narnia_Mum More than 1 year ago
Death Benefits is the second book in Becton’s Southern Fraud Thriller series I read the first book, Absolute Liability and loved it so I’ve been waiting impatiently for the follow up. The Southern Fraud series centers on Special Investigator Julia Jackson who works for the Georgia Department of Insurance, and just like in Absolute Liability I found it easy to identify with Julia. She’s smart and capable, but she doesn’t try to be super woman and solve all the world’s problems on her own. She’s also flawed and more than slightly obsessed with her own personal quest for justice, but these character traits serve to make her more likable and understandable to readers. And then there’s Julia’s new partner Mark Vincent. We were introduced to him in the first book, and in the first chapter of this book it gets confirmed that they are going to be partners at the DOI for a longer period, that they’re working together on the last case wasn’t just a fluke. Cue the hallelujah chorus from thousands of Vincent obsessed Becton fans. Let me tell you...Mark Vincent is hot. Like, “serious and for reals” hot. Whenever he and Julia are “on screen” together they burn up the page. Without giving too much away. Becton has created heaps and heaps of sexual tension between two characters who are not (currently at least, we all have big hopes for the future) romantically involved. And yet there relationship is more about respect, trust, and some really amazing moments of tenderness, then it is about that tension. And...Vincent is hot. (just in case you missed that earlier in the paragraph). The case that Julia and Vincent are working in Death Benefits is actually pretty disturbing. The sections written from the killer’s point of view are spectacularly creepy. This was true in the previous book as well - the glimpses inside the criminal’s mind in both of the Southern Fraud books feel extremely realistic to me. This particular case involves a body in a burned out car, and a Death Benefits claim made 15 minutes after the widow of the supposed deceased is informed of his demise. The reader, and the investigators, are pretty quick in their guess this is a case of fraud - but who is the person in the car? Where did this body come from. The answers to these questions are both fascinating and kind of brain warping. There is one particularly well written and very visually described scene near the end of the book which has literally broken my brain. I may never be the same. I do not suggest reading that section of this book at 4 am unless you really like to be creeped out. Even though it is the second in a series, I think that a reader could pick up Death Benefits and jump right in without having read the first book (although I suggest that you do). There are several carry over story lines, but Becton gives enough of an explanation of them to ease in new readers, but not so much that returning readers would feel they are covering similar ground. Five Stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars. This is my favorite of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book based on the reviews and the ratings
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book, well written and suspenseful. Some unresolved plot issues at the end. Had these issues been resolved/ revealed, I would have given it a 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of twists and turns. Once you start you will not want to put it down. I love this author.
Rockport_rocker More than 1 year ago
Hope you enjoy Death Benefits as much as I did. In this second book in the Southern Fraud Thriller Series, Jennifer Becton realizes the potential that was so obvious in Absolute Liability. Death Benefits is heads and shoulders above the first book, which I enjoyed. State DOI Special Agent Julie Jackson is once again partnered with Special Agent Mark Vincent and quite happy about the pairing. They are not so thrilled with the probable insurance fraud that arises when a body is found in a burned out older model car and the presumed widow files for her husband’s life insurance within minutes of being notified of his death. Something doesn't feel right. As a matter of fact something doesn't feel right every way they turn: the burn patterns in the car, the mortician/county coroner, the widow's relationship with the sheriff, the urn of ashes. Things just don't feel right. But the pairing, yep that feels just right. Their relationship hasn't gone anywhere since the first book and neither one seems to feel sure where it's going now, but for now, just right is okay. There are a couple of places I wanted to tell the author to "think", but overall I really enjoyed the book. It is not necessary to read Absolute Liability or the short story prequel, "Cancellation Notice", to enjoy this book but it is always more fun to read books in order. Becton's writing has a more finished feel to it this time, and once again the book is well plotted and well-paced, and the characters are well developed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Make up ypur mind
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like suspense, this book is for you. I appreciate the detail of the main characters, it feels like you have a vested interest in their lives, & how things will work out. I'm looking forward to the next installment of this series.