Gone to Ground, by Brandilyn Collins

book coverAmaryllis, Mississippi is a scrappy little town of strong backbone and southern hospitality. A brick-paved Main Street, a park, and a legendary ghost in the local cemetery are all part of its heritage. Everybody knows everybody in Amaryllis, and gossip wafts on the breeze. Its people are friendly, its families tight. On the surface Amaryllis seems much like the flower for which it’s named—bright and fragrant. But the Amaryllis flower is poison.

In the past three years five unsolved murders have occurred within the town. All the victims were women, and all were killed in similar fashion in their own homes. And just two nights ago—a sixth murder.

Clearly a killer lives among the good citizens of Amaryllis. And now three terrified women are sure they know who he is—someone they love. None is aware of the others’ suspicions. And each must make the heartrending choice to bring the killer down. But each woman suspects a different man.

Amaryllis is a small southern town where everyone knows everyone else and gossip travels fast along telephone wires and church pews. Cherrie Mae, Tully and Deena travel different paths in life but when Deena’s brother is arrested, Cherrie Mae and Tully both want to reassure her: they know her brother isn’t guilty because they know who the killer of the sixth victim – Erika – is. When they realize they suspect different individuals, they come together to pool their ideas and also to protect one another. The only problem is that they’re looking for the identity of Erika’s killer. None of their suspects have motives for the other killings.

The book is written from the perspectives of all three women, intertwined with newspaper articles about the killings. This makes for an interesting narrative and, at times, the tone feels lighter than your average murder mystery thriller. Midway through, I developed a wacky (in my opinion) idea of the identity of the Closet Killer. I kept reading, thinking I couldn’t possibly be correct. I don’t want to give the game away, but it seems I could be a detective myself! I was relieved when they shared their opinions in the first half of the book as it meant going from three storylines to one, which is a lot easier for the reader to follow. It did seem, though, that these three women had to feed a lot of information to the trained police department; a stereotype of the rural inept good ol’ boy network? Despite these few sticking points, however, this was a book I thoroughly enjoyed and I was delighted to learn at the end that there is a real Cherrie Mae (although the story is definitely fictional) as she was a character I loved.

Publisher: B & H Publishing Group

Publication Date: 01 March 2012

Page Count: 352

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I downloaded my free copy of Gone to Ground from B & H Publishing Group on the NetGalley website. I was under no obligation to write a review.

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