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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Cobra Murders by Jane Greenhill

The Cobra Murders by Jane Greenhill
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (234 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

Homicide Detective Simon Keirsey spends his spare time working a personal cold case--the unsolved murder of his mother, film star Mary Margaret, thirty years earlier.

Recent killings committed by the murderer the press has dubbed The Cobra Killer unexpectedly tie to his mother's death and give Simon a renewed sense of vengeance.

Mary Margaret's mansion now houses the town's museum and employee Alice McClure is comforted by the ghost who walks the halls humming 1980's tunes.

As Simon and Alice race against time to determine who the killer is, will they be able to solve the mystery before another victim is claimed and the murderer's personal vendetta ante is upped?

The Cobra Murders is a story that offers suspense, mystery, and a heaping portion of twists, turns, and intertwined characters along the way. This isn’t your typical romance, but rather, a whodunit that has you questioning if you can you figure out what’s going to happen next before something terrible happens. As you flip through the pages, you’ll discover how the people and pieces are connected. It’s an intricate plot, offering glimpses of what you’re after along the way. The question is will you see the image that’s right there in front of you? Or will you it take the last piece to put it all together?

While the hero is sexy and the heroine likeable, I found the story difficult to follow at times and was forced to start a tab on what character knew what character, was related to what character, or had a vested interest in what character. At first, the interwoven stories/lives/circumstances of each person were intriguing and had me wondering where the author wanted to take us. But three-quarters of the way into the material and the headcount ultimately became too distracting. It was hard to become emotionally invested or to connect to any one character because you are introduced to so many. Also, the extended wait to see the hero and heroine interact with one another was equally disappointing. Though due in large part to the extensive plot that diverts focus elsewhere, I would have liked to have had more time, especially by the half-way mark, with Simon and Alice.

With that said, the material is wonderfully written and Ms. Greenhill does write a suspense/mystery unlike anyone I’ve ever read before. By adding a refreshing splash of humor along the way to lighten the mood, she ensures the story doesn’t become too dark and works the balance to keep you on the edge of your seat. You don’t only view the story through the eyes of the protagonists; you’ll also get to take a trip inside the head of a seriously mental ill murderer, as well as several others that provide a voice along the way.

I recommend The Cobra Murders to readers that want a touch of spice mixed in with heart-pounding suspense.