Review of Pretty Corpse by Author Angela Patch

on June 12, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Really, really good. I was hooked right from chapter one by Linda Berry’s pacey yet descriptive style. I believed in her characters – even the cameos – like the waitress: “an elderly Mae West look-alike whose plastic nametag read Dolly”. I’ve never visited “San Freaking-cisco” but the picture of this diverse city appealed to me so much, a visit there now has to be added to my bucket list.
The main theme of the book is creepy and worrying – the violent serial rapist with a pathological death fixation, preying on very young, innocent girls. But I admired the way the author manages to weave layer upon layer into the story so that the tension is upheld but at the same time not overworked. We have a very likable main character – Lauren Starkley, a strong heroine, a hardworking, conscientious Patrol Officer, whose commitment strengthens in her desire to track down the perpetrator, because of the real threat of harm to her own daughter, Courtney. Our heroine has her weaknesses, which bring her down to earth and stops her from being too good to be true. She has family problems to cope with as a single, widowed mother, a certain amount of pig-headedness in the way she does not want to lose control. Problems connecting to her domineering mother, grief as a widow and the usual balls to juggle with as a woman.
I loved the descriptions of “the other world that existed outside the station”…”; on a brief vacation at the end of the ordeal, … “a tangle of driftwood lay on the beach, limbs rising like fleshless bones from the moist ground…” and earlier on, numerous paintings of the city, including, “…It drenched the vehicles in clean morning light and backlit the liquid amber trees, transforming the leaves into stained glass.” This author knows how to write.
Those gentler brushstrokes served to heighten the shock of the scary parts. There were occasions when my heart hammered at the tension…what a good tele-film this book could be turned into.
So, although I started the book a little reluctantly – yet another given to me in exchange for an honest review – I was really grateful to be introduced to this new author and looked forward to the evenings when I could resume the story. She is an assured writer, in full control of her writing. I want to read more by her now. Congratulations, Linda Berry!

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