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Death Masks

by Kim Richards

      Kim Richards should quit her day job and concentrate on writing novels. She has a number of her short stories in anthologies, but her first full-length mystery, Death Masks, released this spring, shows her true potential. This short eBook is extremely well-written, getting deep inside the killer's head and also inside the lives of some of those touched by these heinous crimes. Richards is able to create parallel story lines. One follows a serial killer who is responsible for the abduction and murder of healthy, extremely fit, young men who frequent a local city park. The other dips into the life of Bill Cristo, an overweight computer tech at a large company, who lives with his beautiful girlfriend, a nurse and budding sculptress. Bill gets mugged in the park but doesn't remember much at first. Only later does Bill realize that before he lost consciousness he had actually stumbled upon the killer with an incapacitated victim. When he finally tells the police, he's not believed. By that time, he also has trouble at work and at home, and the police soon begin to look at him with suspicion.

Death Masks kept me eagerly reading until the final page. I kept bouncing from potential suspect to potential suspect as I read, refining my own hypothesis, and still was surprised by the ending. Yet the author had left plenty of clues when I thought about it. Kim Richards has a gift for creating characters whose lives I can get into and understand. Her plot was well done and her ending satisfying.

Kim Richards' short fiction deals with quirky horror themes, fantasy, and science fiction. So, Ms. Richards, when can we expect to see a novel or two in those genres in the future? Hmmmm?

The Book

Eternal Press
April 2008
More at Publisher's site

The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.
© 2008