Thursday, April 21, 2022

Book & Audio Review: A Grave Talent by Laurie R. King

A Grave Talent

Laurie R. King
Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan
Series: A Kate Martinelli Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Minotaur Books (April 1, 2010); Macmillan Audio (January 27, 2014)
Length: 386 p.; 14 hours and 14 minutes

Description: In Laurie R. King's Grave Talent, the unthinkable has happened in a small community outside of San Francisco. A series of shocking murders has occurred, the victims far too innocent and defenseless. For lesbian Detective Kate Martinelli, just promoted to Homicide and paired with a seasoned cop who's less than thrilled to be handed a green partner, it's a difficult case that just keeps getting harder.

Then the police receive what appears to be a case-breaking lead: it seems that one of the residents of this odd colony is Vaun Adams, arguably the century's greatest woman painter and a notorious felon once convicted of a heinous crime.

But what really happened eighteen years ago? To bring a murderer to justice, Kate must delve into the artist's dark past—even if it means losing everything she holds dear.

My Thoughts: The first Kate Martinelli mystery begins when she is newly promoted to Inspector and assigned to Al Hawkin as his new partner. Al is also new to the SFPD after a successful career in Los Angeles. He isn't pleased with a rookie partner who seems to be assigned to the new case mainly because she's a woman. The case is that of the murder of three children who are left near The Road which is part of a private compound filled with eccentric people near San Francisco. 

As Al and Kate investigate the people who live along the Road to try to find out the connection to the deaths of the little girls from San Francisco, they discover that one of the residents is Vaun Adams who is a famous artist and also a convicted murderer. She was convicted of strangling the six-year-old girl she was babysitting when she was eighteen. She has served her sentence, built a new life, and just wants to be left alone. But the killer isn't finished with her.

The story was a fascinating. I enjoyed learning about Kate's past and how she met her partner Lee and learning how they are building their relationship. Having read later books in the series, I wasn't surprised to learn that Kate's partner Lee was another woman though it wasn't revealed until later in the book. 

This was a good police procedural. I liked the way they tracked the murderer through thorough investigation. I thought the villain was super creepy and was pleased when our heroes were finally able to find evidence to arrest him for his many crimes. 

I liked the way the story was told in sections and covered quite a bit of time. I liked seeing the growth of Al and Kate's partnership and Kate's growth as a person who comes to accept who she is. 

Favorite Quote:
"Geniuses of any kind are always impossibly bloody, single-minded bastards, and women have never had that option, not as a class, not until very recently."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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