Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pattern of Wounds

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Pattern of Wounds
Bethany House (July 1, 2011)


J. Mark Bertrand

J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years, earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after one hurricane too many he relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota. Mark has been arrested for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

It's Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman's brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison ten years ago. Is it a copycat -- or did March convict the wrong man?

Alienated from his colleagues and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home. Up against an unfathomable evil, March struggles against the clock to understand the hidden message in the pattern of wounds.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Pattern of Wounds, go HERE.

Mark Bertrand's second book in his Roland March series kept me eagerly turning pages as March battles time - and sometimes those with whom he works - to solve what increasingly appears to be the work of a serial murder. Yet this is more than just a "whodunit" as themes of compromise, ethics and "sticking to your guns" even when it's not popular are woven throughout the story. The faith element is subtle but well-presented; March is rather cynical and doesn't have much use for God yet he can't deny the difference in those around him who live out their faith. As with most mystery novels, I enjoyed trying to solve the crime before the perpetrator is revealed, and Mark Bertrand does a great job of hiding him or her in plain sight.

I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing Mark Bertrand this week at ICRS. Be on the lookout for my review in the days to come, along with a giveaway.


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Cindy said...

This sounds like my kind of book. I love suspense novels and mysteries.

J. Mark Bertrand said...

It was great meeting you at ICRS, Linda! Thanks for the kind words about the book. :)