I can't recall ever before reading a mystery written from the point of view of an artist who does facial reconstructions for law enforcement. That was such a unique and cool angle to look at cases from, in and of itself, but add in an Appalachian setting, and you know I was hooked. Though the rest of the series doesn't take place in Appalachia, I'm hoping my library has the previous books, because I also quite liked the protagonist, forensic artist Gwen Marcey.
I also appreciated that, although some of the cases Marcey investigated were rapes, there was no gratuitous or graphic description of the crimes. For a modern-day thriller/mystery in the vein of Kathy Reichs, it was not squeamishness-inducing, which I very much liked.
Basically, Gwen Marcey gets called in by the sheriff of a small Kentucky town to help draw identifying sketches of a rapist from descriptions provided by his victims. She winds up investigating a snake-handling church and unraveling a decades-old murder.
My one real quibble with this book is that Marcey has a teen daughter who is fairly stereotypical, especially at first, and mostly seems just there to be put in danger so the protagonist has someone to feel protective of and something more than her own life to lose. Not enough to make me stop enjoying the book, though! I fully intend to read more of this series.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13 for discussion of rapes and murders, characters in grave danger, and violence. Also, snakes and spiders.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for me to read while judging the INSPY awards. In no way did I agree to review this book in exchange. These are my honest opinions.