Review

Die With Me

by Elena Forbes

To
my mind, one of the most important aspects of whether an ongoing
mystery series succeeds or fails is if readers are, ultimately,
just as compelled by the inner struggles and interpersonal
relationships among its protagonists as they are by the mystery
plot itself. After all, these police officers and detectives are
the ones readers will have to spend time with, book after book. If
they're not interesting, what's the point? Based on her first
novel, promising new author Elena Forbes is one mystery writer who
agrees with me. Featuring not only a charismatic, elusive serial
killer but also a complex cast of investigators, each of whom
carries his or her own compelling story, DIE WITH ME is a
first-class introduction to what I can only hope will be a
first-rate series.

 

At the center of the investigation is a mysterious killer named
"Tom," a charming, handsome stranger who engages in suicide pacts
with young, emotionally vulnerable women. When they meet to kill
themselves, only one of them ends up dying --- usually drugged by
Tom and hurled to fall to her death. As for Tom, he walks away,
emotionally charged by the act of committing murder and already
plotting to find his next victim.

 

Assigned to the case is London detective Mark Tartaglia, a jaded
investigator who has been trying to cope with the facts that his
superior officer is in a coma and has been replaced by Carolyn
Steele, an attractive, confident but sometimes abrasive
investigator who is a little too close to the psychological
profiler who has been assigned to the case, a pompous jerk with
whom Tartaglia has clashed on a previous case. He is also sorting
out his feelings about medical examiner Fiona Blake, with whom he
had a one-night stand weeks ago.

 

Tartaglia's partner, Samantha (Sam) Donovan, has picked up on
Tartaglia and Blake's attraction for one another --- and she's
trying not to let her own disappointment over these developments
cloud her work on the case. A sharp investigator, Donovan is also
single and lonely --- a combination that might lead to
heartache…or worse.

 

Rounding out the staff of investigators are several other secondary
characters, each of whom adds his or her own personality and
perspective to the problem at hand. Even as the officers run into a
series of brick walls, red herrings and missed opportunities as
they attempt to track down Tom, readers are drawn into not only the
search for the killer but also into the behind-the-scenes intrigues
and conflicts that develop during the investigation.

 

For those who, as I did, get drawn up in these characters' lives
and work, there's good news. Forbes skillfully combines an
open-ended narrative with just enough closure to satisfy ardent
mystery fans. Given the number of unanswered questions, though, not
to mention the ominous, forward-looking ending, it's clear that
Forbes intends to explore her compelling cast of characters in what
promises to be a gripping ongoing series. I can't wait for the next
one.


   











Reviewed by Norah Piehl on December 29, 2010

Die With Me
by Elena Forbes

  • Publication Date: December 29, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1596923083
  • ISBN-13: 9781596923089