Ellie Matthews, currently a college professor, previously worked for the police as a consulting criminalist. While she never planned to return to the field, a series of horrific murders force her to leave her slightly sheltered world of academia. An Eye for an Eye, the sequel to Bitter Past, by Caroline Fardig is a frighteningly suspenseful tale that examines what can happen when a vile desire for revenge throws an entire community into panic.
Before I begin this review I will say that this was the first Ellie Matthews mystery I have read and even without reading the first novel I felt completely connected and engaged with the main character. There are brief references to Bitter Past, but An Eye for an Eye can be read before the first book. I definitely plan to go back and read the previous novel after this exceptional read. After finding a way to get her life back to a relative state of normal Ellie is suddenly caught up in the investigation of a series of murders that all tie back to a previously closed case. When the body of the first girl is found a series of taunting poems reveal that the killer is seeking revenge against those he believes were responsible for the wrongful conviction in a murder case. During the course of the investigation Ellie’s life is directly impacted by the sadistic killer and she has to race against the clock to save someone she loves.
Caroline Fardig finds a way to not only keep readers guessing throughout An Eye for an Eye, but she also includes an element of investigative work that many series lack in a captivating way. By using Ellie Matthews as her main character, Fardig is able to show the reader the forensic work that goes into investigating a crime and through her first person perspective she is able to make the work within the lab fascinating. The excitement the forensics team has when they search for clues is something that rarely gets emphasized in mysteries and I enjoyed it tremendously. Beyond that the flaws in her main character make her remarkably relatable and as an older sister myself I couldn’t help, but tear up during certain portions of the book. I would strongly recommend An Eye for an Eye to fans of television series like CSI and Bones and readers who have an interest in mysteries with a scientific element.
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