Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review ~ Wounds by Alton Gansky

When one his students turns up dead in San Diego's botanical garden, Dr. Ellis Poe, a religious professor at a seminary, is shocked when the investigating detective on the case is someone out of his past.  Seeing her has brought back memories of a secret he has been running from since a teen, a secret that has changed his life.  When more murders start to turn up, all with strange wounds on their bodies, Dr. Poe finds himself being reluctantly drawn into the case due to his knowledge of religion.

Detective Carmen Rainmondi had wanted to be doctor, but when her teenage sister was murdered she became a detective in the hopes that one day she would find her sister's killer.  When a serial killer turns up in San Diego, she and her team must work overtime to solve the strange crimes before another person can fall victim to the killer.  She is good at what she does and is very driven.  But with strange wounds on the bodies and the killer being very smart and not leaving any clues, the team is stumped until Dr. Ellis Poe starts to see an unbelievable pattern and must use his knowledge of the bible to help solve the mystery.   They must pool all their skills to stop the evil.

Every once in a while I get a hankering to read a good detective/crime/mystery type of novel.  I'd read another of Alton Gansky's novels years ago and remembered liking it so I nabbed this as a spur of the moment purchase from the book store.  It definitely fit the bill for mystery and suspense.  The author did a good job of fleshing out the main characters and their motivations from a devastating event from the past that connected them.   An event that changed their lives forever, making one a guilt ridden almost recluse and the other a determined, toughened detective with an ulterior mission but also choosing being alone. Dr. Poe struggles with what he knows the bible says about God's forgiveness and the events in his own life and the choices he has made.  Detective Rainmondi struggles with letting go of the past.  Their stories is what drove the novel for me, even more so than the fast paced crime and action involved in the solving of the murders.   The author delivers on giving a complex murder mystery while at the same time delving into deep motivations of the main characters without the story getting confused or bogged down at all.  How he connected it all was brilliant.  The story deals with choices, guilt, redemption, forgiveness and, most definitely, evil.

That said, this book might not be for everyone.  It is intense and the descriptions of the wounds and deaths is graphic, think CSI kind of detail, and for me, very sad.  Each murder is discussed more than once through out the story because the murders all connect even though the methods are very different.  While I found it hard to put the book down due to the mystery, characters and fast pace of the book, I found I had to put it down at different times just to give myself a breather from the gruesomeness.   It was an interesting story with a unique edge.  The very last page, especially the closing line, had me thinking a long time.


Barbara H. said...

I've wanted to try one of his as I have heard he is really good, but I don't know if this would be a good one for me. I like suspense and mystery sometimes but can't stomach gruesome details.

Faith said...

Well i prefer gruesome details sometimes over certain s*x scenes or books chock full of profanity! This is going on my list, Susanne! good grief, my list from your reviews is getting LONG!! and my library doesn't always have them!! LOL....I just wrote another review this morning. I'm now starting a Christian fiction one our library actually had. Am wondering if you've read it. Is on my side bar.