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{June 16, 2013}   {ARC Review} Dead Insider by Victoria Houston

16235396From Goodreads: In the midst of a catastrophic August rainstorm, a grisly discovery shatters the serenity of a summer evening in northern Wisconsin. Moving quickly to prevent a panic among tourists, Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris enlists the forensic and interrogation skills of her close friend and fellow fly fisherman, the retired dentist “Doc” Osborne. Within hours of launching their investigation, they find themselves faced with a national media circus as Loon Lake becomes the focus of a murderous scenario that links the murder to the race for the U.S. Senate by a woman who is heir to a Northwoods fortune and other, less savory, family traditions.

In the meantime, Doc Osborne’s eldest daughter, Mallory, enters into a relationship that may put her life at risk–unless her father and Chief Ferris can find the killer stalking the residents of Loon Lake.

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This novel started out very slow for me, to the point that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to like it since, by 30% in, I still felt like nothing had happened except introductions of characters and fishing related talk.  However, these introductions are extremely important, as I later found out, and once the murder itself took place (around 33% in), the pacing picked up and the story unfolded quite nicely.

I have to say that the characterization throughout the novel was done very well.  By the end, I truly felt like I knew all the characters, even those who weren’t mainstream, and it takes a lot of effort and ability to make all the characters so real and relatable.    And, while I wasn’t a fan of all of them, each character played an extremely important role within the story—and the mystery behind it all was highly intriguing.  Filled with politics, country traditions, and good old fashion mystery, this novel will sweep readers up in its lies and deceits until the truth is laid bare.  I have to say, for most of the novel I really didn’t expect the murderer to be who it was, and I really enjoyed sleuthing alongside the characters and trying to put it together.  Nothing is as it seems in this novel.  Four stars.

4 stars

F+W/Adams Media has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on June 18, 2013.

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