Saturday, December 19, 2015

Drool Baby (A Dog ParkMystery#2), by C.A. Newsome (author), Jane Boyer (narrator)

Carol Ann Newsome, August 2013

The shocking events of earlier in the year are over, and life in and around the dog park is back to normal--more or less. Lia Anderson is getting therapy for the lingering effects of her friend and partner, Bailey, holding a gun to her head and nearly killing her. Terry's leg is healing, if slower than he'd like. Lia herself has a great new commission from Renee for a sun marker and sculpture on her property, and her relationship with the cute police detective, Peter Dourson, is humming along nicely--even if Lia does have some insecurities around relationships, which can be a cause for some friction.

But readers of the first book, A Shot in the Bark, know that there's a serial killer lurking among the dog park regulars, and things can't remain calm for long. When a stranger approaches Jim with some unsettling information from Bailey, now confined to a mental institution until she's competent to stand trial, it starts a chain of events that will kick the serial killer into action again.

Jim, Lia, and Peter begin an unofficial investigation--with Peter warning the others that the perpetrator will be someone they know and like. Lia can't quite believe that, but like Jim and Peter, she pursues the information they're looking for on those around the park. Who other than Bailey is unaccounted for at the times of the murders of Luthor and Catherine? Who has a history that shows the early warning signs of a psychopath? They're learning startlingly personal details about their friends, knowledge that Jim and Lia in particular would rather not know.

Meanwhile, in alternating chapters, we follow the killer, as she makes her plans and responds to those around her. It's a chillingly convincing look inside the mind of a serial killer.

I had an idea who the killer might be while reading the first book. In this one, Newsome continues to keep us guessing, whether it is that character or one other, until nearly the very end.

The characters are well done, the mystery is a good one, and Newsome learned from writing A Shot in the Bark and became a stronger writer for this book.I enjoyed the first; this one is clearly better.

Recommended.

I received a free copy of the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.