Review: All That Glitters by Jane Gorman

This was hard to put down. Gorman knows how to craft a story, relentlessly raising the stakes for her protagonist, while weaving his personal life and the mystery plot together seamlessly. The Philadelphia setting is portrayed in depth without ever slowing the tempo; the details don’t intrude, but add color and intensity.

Detective Adam Kaminski has a passionate sense of justice and a strong connection with his family. When his sister becomes a suspect in a murder, he’s determined to prove her innocence even if he breaks some rules to do it. He makes mistakes, creating stress on the job, stress with his family, and stress in his already struggling relationship, while doing his best to follow his sense of what’s right.

I liked the balance between Adam and his calmer, steadier partner at work, Detective Pete Lawler, and enjoyed a new character who gets involved in solving the crime, a young ranger at the urban national park, Independence National Historical Park, where the murder takes place.

There are many plausible suspects, and I didn’t figure out which one was guilty until Adam did, though I tried. The final discovery of the killer is masterful, as Adam acts on intuition as well as his prior detective work. I congratulate Gorman on a dramatic confrontation scene that wraps up of the mystery plot without resorting to the canned this-is how-and-why-I-did-it confession so many mysteries end with.

As in any good series, there are aspects of the protagonist’s personal life that remain open-ended while the mystery gets closure. I wonder how Adam will cope long-term with what he’s so sure he can forgive. I wonder what he’ll continue to learn about his family history.

The only aspect of the book I didn’t like was the use of a few scenes in the point of view of the killer. This is a common device—the point of view of one nameless, faceless character while all other characters have identities and contexts—so I assume some readers must like it, but for me it breaks the flow and weakens my absorption in the lead character’s experience. When I read a mystery, I’d rather know only what the characters attempting to solve it know. Fortunately, there were very few of these anonymous-perpetrator-point-of-view scenes, and they didn’t hurt the book overall. I highly recommend this series.

You can find sales links for all retailers on the author’s web site, as well as background on the fascinating settings.

 

Advertisements

First in Series #Free in February: Fall in Love with a New Series

Explore three different takes on paranormal mystery: esoteric, comic, and psychic.

Under the Stone Paw

 Book one in the Power Places Series

A forgotten family legacy. Six crystal keys. One shot at unlocking the secrets beneath the Sphinx. 

Anne Le Clair, a successful, young attorney, has always managed to remain free from her family’s gothic past—until now. When she inherits her eccentric aunt’s antique necklace though, she finds no escape from its secrets. Anne is immersed in a crash course of forbidden wisdom, secret societies, and her family’s own legacy. She soon discovers that her aunt’s necklace is one of just six powerful “keys” that, when combined with the other five at the appointed time, unlocks the legendary Hall of Records. However, another group, the shadowy Illuminati, is working behind the scenes to uncover the same powerful secrets—and make them their own.

Katherine Kurtz, author of the Adept series, says “ . . . one of the best esoteric novels of the past decade.  Crater knows her way around Egypt and its mysteries.  Evil Illuminati, ancient artifacts, and conspiracies abound. Surpasses the Da Vinci Code.”

Download

                                       Blasted Bloomers

Prequel to the Loon Lake Magic Series

Tonya is shocked when the hunk of her daydreams asks her out. He must be toying with her, or is he? To make sure he likes her, Tonya snitches magic panties from the notorious Witch of Loon Lake. Will her risky plan end in triumph or disaster? Read this free urban fantasy book to find out. Expect a little bit of mystery, a touch of romance, and hair-raising suspense in this comic tale of Loon Lake magic.

Download

The Calling*

 The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery

Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions— access to secrets she could regret uncovering.

Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again.

The Mae Martin Series

No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.

Download

Bonus: If you click on this link to sign up for my newsletter, you can also get the series prequel free.

 The Outlaw Women

Folk healer and seer Rhoda-Sue Outlaw Jackson knows her time on earth is running out when she hears the voice of her late husband telling her she has only but so many heartbeats left. She’s had a troubled relationship with her daughter, and has little hope of passing on her extraordinary gifts, either to this difficult daughter or to her granddaughter. With the final hour around the corner, she brings her family together for one more try. Can she leave the world at peace with them, as well as with her legacy?

This prequel to the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series introduces Mae at age ten, as seen through the eyes of her grandmother.

*Free  promotion  for The Calling ends Feb. 25