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Skin and Bone by Kathryn Fox
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Harper Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061353338
Date: 01 July 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Webpage / Show Official Info /

Skin and Bone by Kathryn Fox starts with a brutally burned victim and evolves into several other murders. Are they related? Detective Kate Farrer and her partner Oliver Parke need to figure that out.

In Skin and Bone by Kathryn Fox, Detective Sergeant Kate Farrer returns to work after a long absence. She is a police detective that was captured by a criminal three months before. As she returns she still is haunted by the incident. On her first day back, she investigates a brutal murder of a young woman in a house fire, plus being assigned a new partner, Oliver Parke.

They find a diaper bag at the scene, and the autopsy reveals that the young victim recently had a child. Kate's new partner is a family man with numerous kids of his own, and quickly endears himself to Kate with his knowledge of babies, and also by his smarts and dedication to his job. Kate and Oliver are not only trying to solve the murder, but are desperately trying to find out what happened to the baby and if he is still alive.

The daughter of one of the local influential families also turns up missing, and Kate and Oliver draw that case too. All of their research and tips lead them to a group of womanizing partiers that have ties to the both cases.

Any more details will spoil the plot. It is fun with interesting characters and an interesting story.

Kate grows a great deal throughout the story. She is certainly a loner, and values keeping her private life apart from her work life. At first, she is hesitant and nervous about returning to work. At times she has to use mental toughness and convince herself that she want to be a survivor, not a victim, and force herself through the day. Kate succeeds and quickly is back to fighting form.

One of the interesting sidelights is the location of the story. At first I thought the book took place in England, based on some of the expressions they were using, but a few things did not add up. One couple talked about their daughter being "far away" in London and Kate and Oliver paid a bill in dollars. I justified it by thinking they were in a remote part of Britain, and that the publisher changed the currency to dollars since the book was being released in America. After I read a little further, somebody mentioned being born in Brisbane. Then it clicked that the story was in Australia. After that I quickly checked the author's bio, and I found out that Kathryn Fox is Australian. Of course that has nothing to do with the story itself, but it was fun to hear the different variation on the language.

I recommend Skin and Bone to mystery readers. The murder mystery is very interesting and the characters are likeable and grow throughout the story.

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