Cameryn Mahoney returns in this second book in the young adult "Forensic Mystery" series. While this is a stand-alone story, there are personal details about Cameryn's life that make it worth reading the first book, The Christopher Killer, first.
Cameryn is still working as the assistant to her coroner father, and she is holding her own and has proved herself to the people who matter - so much so that the sheriff calls her "the angel of death" behind her back. She doesn't mind - she is finally doing what she has been studying so hard for, and while at times it is challenging and distressing, she has no intention of giving it up.
Then she is called to assist her father, and the body turns out to be one of her favorite teachers. She feels a connection with the boy who found the body in its gruesome, mystifying condition, and they become romantically involved. She finds it difficult to maintain her clinical detachment regarding the case, which appears to have been murder, only no one can figure out what means the killer used. At the same time, events in her personal life are coming to a head. She is angry with her father and grandmother for holding back information that was revealed at the end of the first book, and in turn, Cameryn is keeping her own secrets. It seems like a viable thing to do, but when she begins fighting with her best friend, and even the sheriff's deputy comments that she doesn't seem to be acting like herself, can it be that she's heading down a destructive path?
I very much enjoyed this sequel to the first forensic mystery - my favorite mystery series tend to involve interesting plots with well-developed characters whose lives are affected by the events in such a way that they change from book to book - and this one fits the bill perfectly. My only quibble is that it seemed fairly obvious to me what had happened to the teacher, but the coroner and medical examiner and everyone else were completely baffled. Still, I had no idea how the killer could possibly have carried out the actual murder, and it was a gripping read all the way through. I'm very much looking forward to the third book in this exciting series.
Books in the Forensic Mystery series:
1. The Christopher Killer
2. The Angel of Death
3. The Circle of Blood
4. The Dying Breath
The Angel of Death (#2 in the Forensic Mystery series) by Alane Ferguson (Viking Sleuth, 2006)
Also reviewed at:
Amberkatze's Book Blog
Sarah's Holds Shelf