Seven years ago, Dr. Annabelle, although she prefers Anna, Schwartzman, left Spencer, her abusive husband. Starting over was a struggle, but she finished medical school and now has a job in Seattle as a medical examiner. She loves helping the homicide team solve cases. Being part of a team makes her feel safe, but when one of the cases brings back the horror of her married life, she panics.
The murdered woman looks like her, and when a necklace exactly like the one she always wears is found around the woman’s neck, she can’t control her fear. The homicide team rallies around her, but Anna no longer feels safe and the coincidences leading to Spencer escalate.
The plot is gripping. Spencer seems to have almost super human powers to frighten Anna. The story moves swiftly from one encounter with his machinations to the next. With that sort of stalker, Anna is justified in feeling panicked. However, I thought her reactions were over the top in some instances. She is always on the edge of hysteria and sometimes doesn’t show good judgment. When confronted by an individual the police want to talk to, she lets her walk away from her office. That keeps the action moving but it, and other instances, seem contrived to keep the story moving rather than enhance the character.
I found the use of technical medical language to be extreme. I doubt even medical personnel think about their lungs in terms of a textbook description. The author apparently did a lot of research, but it isn’t necessary to show it all off in one novel.
If you enjoy a plot that features a medical examiner, you may like this one. It’s not in the same class with Patricia Cornwell’s books, but it’s interesting.
I received this book from Net Galley for this review.