Saturday, January 22, 2022

Book & Audio Review: The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

The Body Reader

Anne Frasier
Narrator: Emily Sutton-Smith
Series: Detective Jude Fontaine Mysteries (Book 1)
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (June 21, 2016); Brilliance Audio (June 21, 2016)
Length: 304 p.; 8 hours and 31 minutes

Description: A Thriller Award winner, Best Paperback Original Novel.

For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning his every line, every movement, and every flicker of thought is what kept her alive.

After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice—and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead. Despite colleagues’ doubts about her mental state, she resumes her role at Homicide. Her new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, doesn’t trust her sanity, and he has a story of his own he’d rather keep hidden. But a killer is on the loose, murdering young women, so the detectives have no choice: they must work together to catch the madman before he strikes again. And no one knows madmen like Jude Fontaine.

My Thoughts: Detective Jude Fontaine was abducted and kept imprisoned by a sadistic torturer for three years. When a power outage finally lets her escape, after killing her captor, her first instinct is to go home only to find out that her boyfriend has moved on with another woman. 

Jude's second option is to return to the Minneapolis Police Department and resume her job as a homicide detective. There are a lot of questions about whether she is mentally and emotionally stable enough to resume her job. Those questions rise again when she and her new partner Uriah Ashby are called to the apparent suicide of a young woman in a Minneapolis lake. One thing Jude gained from her time in captivity was acute powers of observation. She's convinced that the death was murder, not suicide. When one of the possible witnesses is also brutally murders and had her severed head left in Jude's motorcycle helmet, the thought that the death was murder becomes stronger.

These two cases lead to some cold cases where teenage girls have disappeared. It looks like a connection might be the governor of Minnesota who happens to be Jude's estranged father. But is it an actual connection or the result of Jude's vendetta against her father because of her belief that he murdered her mother when Jude was eight?

This was a fascinating story about a woman trying to rebuild her life after a terrible ordeal and who questions her own sanity. I loved the Minneapolis setting even though it was an alternate Minneapolis subject to power blackouts and a rise in crime and a shifting of neighborhoods. 

I liked the relationship Jude is building with her new partner. I liked that she is finding friends again. I thought the mystery was intriguing. Especially intriguing were the chapters from the viewpoint of "His Girl" - another girl who has been held captive for even longer than Jude had been. 

I really enjoyed this story and am glad that there are two more books in the series. Emily Sutton-Smith did an excellent job with making each character distinct and using her voice to build tension in the story. 

Favorite Quote:
And when everything was boiled down, maybe she had nothing left to fear. Maybe that's what really set her apart from everyone else. Her fearlessness born of ambivalence, not bravery, because she'd lived through some of the darkest stuff a person could live through.

Been there, done that.

Three Years of Torture and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.
I bought this one in Kindle and audiobook editions. You can buy your copy here.


  1. This sounds pretty intense, thanks for sharing your thoughts

  2. This is one I have been eyeing. I'm pretty sure I will pick it up sooner than later. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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