THE EDGAR AWARD-WINNING NOVEL
THE FIRST KATE MARTINELLI MYSTERY
In Laurie R. King's Grave Talent, the unthinkable has happened in a small community outside of San Francisco. A series of shocking murders has occurred, the victims far too innocent and defenseless. For lesbian Detective Kate Martinelli, just promoted to Homicide and paired with a seasoned cop who's less than thrilled to be handed a green partner, it's a difficult case that just keeps getting harder.
Then the police receive what appears to be a case-breaking lead: it seems that one of the residents of this odd colony is Vaun Adams, arguably the century's greatest woman painter and a notorious felon once convicted of a heinous crime.
But what really happened eighteen years ago? To bring a murderer to justice, Kate must delve into the artist's dark past—even if it means losing everything she holds dear.
Although it gets off to an uncertain start, this first mystery boasts an appealing female detective and a few good shocks delivered close to the end. Three children's bodies are found near a reclusive community of eccentrics not too many miles from San Francisco. Young cop Casey Martinelli and her embittered, tyrannical partner Alonzo Hawkins think they've identified the perfect suspect in Vaun Adams, the community's resident artist, who once was convicted of murdering a child and who is secretive even by the standards of her weird neighbors. Adams is a strong, enigmatic creation: haunted, gothic and broadly dysfunctional, with a dark past that may contain the lurking killer. But the plot exhibits cracks--a tenuous piece of deduction conveniently dictates that the murder suspects can come only from the community--and King stumbles several times in developing her detectives' characters. She is coy about revealing the gender of Casey's lover (most readers will spot the ``surprise'' a mile off), and she lets Hawkins' initially gruff manner dissipate within a dozen pages. If King plans a series, she will need to flesh out her protagonists. ( Feb .)
Very Good Story and Characters
The story is one of the best I have seen in a mystery novel and the character development is well paced. I would easily recommend this book to people who like the mystery genre. The author does an exceptional job at making the reader care for the characters.