Tuesday, September 2, 2014
I've read the entire Liv Bergen series, In the Belly of Jonah, Lot's Return to Sodom, Widow's Might, and Noah's Rainy Day.
Trying to convince Liv Bergen from resigning from the FBI to return to mining after nearly losing her nephew, Streeter Pierce asks Liv for one condition: to wait six months before making her resignation official or public.Five months into the condition, Streeter becomes desperate to keep Liv, so he bends the rules and assigns her a seven year old cold case – Brianna Keller, a young girl taken from her bedroom during a slumber party and found dead along the road in the dessert near Vegas. Streeter believes if Liv sees how she can help her family, help avenge a child’s death, she may not feel as if she’s endangering them. So what better way than to assign her Brianna’s case? After all, Brianna is Liv’s niece, her sister Barbara’s youngest child. My thoughts..... In reaction to her nephew’s involvement in her last case Liv Bergen has given Streeter Pierce her resignation, with the proviso that she’ll give it six months before making her final decision. Five months in Streeter gives the Brianna Keller cold case to Liv. Brianna was Liv’s niece, the daughter of her sister Colonel Barbara Bergen. Seven years ago, ten year old Brianna was abducted from her home during a slumber party. Brianna was found two weeks later along highway 95 between Hawthorne and Las Vegas. Streeter is breaking rules in an effort to show Liv she can help, rather than hurt, her family by staying with the FBI. Will it work or will the cost be too high? Liv has found an apartment to sub-let and is considering taking her relationship with fellow agent Jack Linwood to the next level. Jack and Live are low-key, the relationship never overwhelms the characters or story. Thank goodness! Brianna’s cold case leads Liv to other cold cases, all involving children. In addition Streeter assigns her a current high profile case in Ft. Collins. New police chief, Teresa Fiore has requested assistance from Streeter in the three month old badly botched case. The media has had and is having a field day with the incompetence and mishandling. Trial by media--sound familiar? While following new leads and avenues Liv and an agent in New York discover a frightening link between all the cases, past and present. SOLOMON’S WHISPER, while still involving Liv’s family, is different in several ways from the previous books in the series. Despite the familial link it doesn’t feel as pervasive as it has in past stories. Most of the cases will be easily recognized. Even if, like me, you don’t watch the news there was no way to avoid hearing about these. For that reason it was occasionally hard to read SOLOMON’S WHISPER. Crimes against children are the worst, bringing out the strongest emotions in most of us. What is justifiable in these instances? Would you be willing to look the other way if it meant keeping another child safe from suffering a like fate? Is a vigilante a hero or criminal? As Liv, Streeter, and others follow the many threads these questions and others come up. I confess to empathizing with the “bad guy” this time around. It was easy to understand their motivation and justify their actions in these circumstances, but that doesn’t make it right. Serious soul searching and conscience wrangling resulted during and after reading; this is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you’ve closed the covers. The prior books shared the killers POV. Not this time around. All we see is the result. The climax was chaotic, fierce, and more than the killer’s identity is revealed. I did not figure this one out and was in tears by the time I read the last words. Unlike with the previous books I have quite a few questions this time. SOLOMON’S WHISPER is the most intense, emotional and heartrending entry in the series to date. Y’all don’t wanna miss this one. 4.5 stars Sandra Brannan has created a heart-pounding mystery thriller series around Liv Bergen, a woman who embodies the spirit of South Dakota. Much like her character Liv Bergen, Brannan has spent her career in the mining business. Working her way up from day laborer in the company her grandfather founded to a top executive in the family business wasn’t easy, as Sandra often received threats from those opposed to mining. These life experiences give her a first person perspective into the high-stakes scenarios of which she writes. In response to the overwhelming success of In the Belly of Jonah (2010), Lot’s Return To Sodom (2011), Widow’s Might (2012) and Noah’s Rainy Day (2013), Brannan prioritizes her time first to the librarians and booksellers for nominating her to earn two ABA Indie Next List Notables, to book clubs and fans who have described Liv Bergen as the love child of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, and to teachers for all the gratitude she has for their role in her success. Her books have landed on the Denver Post best-seller list and reached the top 10 for e-book mysteries and top 5 for women’s mysteries. She celebrates the launch of the fifth book in her series, Solomon’s Whisper, in September 2014. Named one of the top 25 most fabulous women by Black Hills Magazine, Brannan lives in her hometown of Rapid City, South Dakota, with her husband. Their budding family consists of four boys and three grandchildren.