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Dust to Dust: A Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation Mass Market Paperback – Aug 4 2009
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"Crisp dialogue, interesting characters, fascinating tidbits of bone lore and a murderer that eluded me. When I started reading, I couldn't stop. What more could you ask for? Enjoy." -- Virginia Lanier
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Determined to find evidence leading to the person or persons responsible for the attack, Diane arrives at the crime scene. Her headlights illuminate an old farmhouse, peeling paint, rotten wood and eerie gargoyles standing sentry in the lawn. Before she can begin collecting evidence, Diane sees a shadowy movement inside the house and gunfire erupts from the nearby woods.
So begins another fast paced adventure featuring Rosewoods museum director, CSI and forensic anthropologist, Dr Diane Fallon. Before long, Diane is up to her knees in bodies, multiple cases, and strange, conflicting evidence. As determined as she is to let the evidence lead her to the solution, someone is just as determined to prevent it.
Connor always includes a little archeology, a little anthropology and just enough semi-technical crime scene detail to wet the appetite of arm chair CSI's. This novel also has some personal insights into the controversial science of criminal profiling which I found interesting. Connor's novels are roller coaster rides, one dramatic event leading to another with little time between. Strong female characters are one of the most appealing elements of these books. Fallon is no victim and never wastes time waiting for a hero on a white horse to rescue her. She manages to take care of herself in any situation.
This series is set in a north Georgia town near Atlanta that is home a natural history museum that bears a striking resemblance to the Fernbank Science Center ([...] This setting allows for the addition of museum management and the politics of a small insular intellectual community to the criminal and forensic aspects of these fine novels. The local crime lab is located at the museum allowing a mix of forensic and scientific avenues to broaden the playing field considerably while keeping all the technical investigations under one roof such that aspects of investigations that might otherwise be referred to in passing can be more closely examined for the readers enjoyment (and education). Ms. Connor also provides a fair amount of small town political infighting and departmental jealousies in her stories adding not just more meat to the potatoes but a nice bit of spice as well..
As usual with a Beverly Connor mystery there are several stories taking place at once. An old friend recruits Dr. Fallon to assist in looking into the death of a young woman who was investigating the murder that sent her brother to prison. While any experienced mystery reader (or TV watcher) has seen this plot line done many times before, Ms. Connor manages to find some new twists to keep the reader's attention. Simultaneously an archaeologist associated with the museum is attacked at her home and when the crime scene techs arrive to work the scene they find themselves under fire before uncovering what appears to be an art theft. Throw in traumatized relatives, feuding medical examiners, distrustful police detectives, pink haired girl guitarists, a couple of hundred year old ladies, serial killers and some fascinating information about pottery and you've got a fast moving and highly entertaining book.
Beverly Connor is a wonderful writer. I highly recommend all of her books to everyone and if you happen upon an old copy of one of her much missed Lindsay Chamberlain series in a used book shop buy it immediately before some other lucky soul can beat you to it!
BUT, this one is one of her best - taught, interesting, and credible. The plot and the story that is uncovered as the book goes on is not run-of-the mill and I found the way she handled it, and her characters' reactions to it, very well drawn and interesting.
Former FBI profiler Ross Kingsley visits Diane to ask a favor. He tells her he no longer believes in profiling after the BTK case and a serial rape case he worked. Instead he works for Florida based Darley, Dunn and Upsahw as a private investigator; currently doing a pro bono action. Nine years ago Ryan Dance was given a life sentence for murdering fifteen year old Ellie Rose Carruthers. His younger sister Stephanie believed he was innocent and tried to prove it. Last week the obstinate twenty-three year old was found dead; the cops claim autoerotic asphyxiation as the case. Her father believes she found the proof and was murdered for it. Ross shows Diane a photo of the death scene and the forensic expert begins to make a case that murder occurred.
The latest Diane Fallon investigation (see SCATTERED GRAVES) is a super entry with two strong diverse cases; most fascinating is the refreshing knot forensics spin that shows when readers think they've read or seen everything, something new surfaces. Diane is at her best as she uncovers secrets buried in the dust that those who concealed them thought would be blown away by the wind. This is a great forensics investigative thriller due to a strong cast working complex cases, but especially the super look at criminal science will have the audience profiling Beverly Connor as one of the top mystery writers.