A Winsome Murder.

Author:VanHouten, Beth
Position:Book review

James DeVita; A WINSOME MURDER; University of Wisconsin Press (Fiction: Mystery) 26.95 ISBN: 9780299304409

Byline: Beth VanHouten

The desires of these characters are deeply ingrained, propelling this murder mystery into psychological terrain.

A tale of a small-town girl murdered introduces this sordid novel of a serial killer and the big-city policeman dedicated to stopping him. Strong characters and pictorial writing drive A Winsome Murder, with a seizing plot elevating and accelerating the story.

Deborah Ellison, who is caught up in drugs and disappointing her father, has been murdered and mutilated, her body left in an unused part of town. Jillian is an author writing her reflections on the murder for a literary magazine in Chicago, where Deborah had lived on and off for a few years. When the magazine editor receives a bloody hand and a note to stop printing Jillian's articles, Detective Mangan, from Chicago PD's violent-crime task force, is put on the case. Identifying the owner of the appendage sparks an investigation for a serial killer and draws Mangan into Deborah's story.

James DeVita, a New York native now living in Wisconsin, weaves the small-town/big-city differences seamlessly into his tale of terror. He creates deep and substantial characters with histories that drive their motives. Detective Mangan's internal voice often quotes Shakespeare...

To continue reading