Taken to the Grave

Taken to the Grave

by M.M. Chouinard

Overview: When a girl’s body is discovered in a park in the sleepy Massachusetts town of Oakhurst, local detective Jo is shocked to the core. Because the girl is the second innocent victim to turn up dead in three days. And just like the first, a tarot card has been left by the body. The meaning of the card: betrayal.

After uncovering a series of threatening messages targeting the girl, a student at the university, and the first victim, her teacher, Jo thinks she’s locked the killer in her crosshairs. The primary suspect is a volatile ex-military student with an axe to grind for failing grades, and the frightened town is out for his blood. But the next day, a much-loved member of the community is found dead in her home, a tarot card in her mail. There’s no clear motive to link her death to the others, and the message on the card this time is even stranger: domestic bliss.

With a fourth body and card appearing the following day, Jo knows she’s running out of time to crack the code and bring the killer to justice. And the pressure only gets worse with heart-breaking news about Jo’s father forcing her to choose between helping her family heal or the victims’ families get justice. Can Jo find the twisted murderer sending the town into a panic before another life is lost? Or this time, will the dangerous killer find her first?

Carole Zwicker (10/24/19): Taken to the Grave by M.M. Chouinard is the second in the Detective Jo Fournier series. However, the mystery reads well as a standalone. In Oakhurst, Massachusetts, at the local college, a professor is viciously murdered in his office. Jo and her partner have just begun the investigation when another body is found on a local hiking trail. All indications are that the murders are related to the college but no one is forthcoming with information about who can be responsible and why. Again, a third body is found, and, like the previous victims, a tarot card has been left in the vicinity of each body. The police have their suspicions about who the perpetrator could be but are having trouble coming up with anything but circumstancial evidence. And then a fourth violent death occurs. When will the violence stop? What could have caused someone to commit so many atrocious murders, all of them connected to the school? Time is running out and then someone else disappears. This is a fascinating police procedural: it holds the reader's attention throughout and does not disappoint.
Rating: *****

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