SKIN AND BONE - Kathryn Fox

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Skin and Bone
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Book Synopsis

Detective Kate Farrer has been assigned a new partner after returning to work from extended sick leave.  
Detective Oliver Parke has never worked in Homicide before and Kate feels she has enough on her plate without playing nurse-maid to a new boy.
The pair is thrown in the deep end when the burned body of a woman is discovered after a house fire.  All signs point to arson and murder. What makes things even more disturbing is the post mortem reveals the woman has recently given birth.  There are no signs of the baby in the remains of the house, so what happened?
Teenager Candice Penfold goes missing and Kate and Oliver are re-assigned to her case.  Homicide is short-staffed and they feel they should be investigating the murder, not some kid who has perhaps run away. But the Penfolds have money and influence in high places.
The trail leads the detectives to a body-builder and steroid user who has been pestering Candice’s sister. When a quadriplegic is found burned to death in his house and the detectives discover the victim is a friend of the body-builder, they begin to wonder if the cases are connected.
Book Review

SKIN AND BONE has all the elements of a good crime novel.  Well-developed characters: a suitably absorbing plot with intertwining threads and enough clues to allow the reader to solve the mystery.
Kathryn Fox’s first two novels (Malicious Intent and Without Consent) featured Dr. Anya Crichton.  Farrer was the investigating detective in Malicious Intent. In featuring Farrer as the protagonist in SKIN AND BONE, author has given herself scope to create two separate series. This also firmly establishes Fox in Australia’s growing pool of talented crime writers.
If you enjoyed Fox’s first two books, then you won’t be disappointed in SKIN AND BONE.  I read Without Consent early in 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed it.  If anything, I think SKIN AND BONE is even better.  If you are new to Fox’s work, then SKIN AND BONE won’t suffer from the reader not being familiar with her earlier books.

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