Aftershock

Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell. Hanover Square, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-335-14729-5
Melinek and Mitchell’s so-so second mystery featuring San Francisco deputy chief medical examiner Jessie Teska (after 2020’s First Cut) takes Teska to a construction site where a man’s corpse has been found, his head crushed by a pile of pipes. Teska’s preliminary observations lead her to suspect the scene was staged. After the pipes are lifted off the body, she notes the head’s not surrounded by the large puddle of blood she’d expect to see if the crushing of the skull was the cause of death. At the autopsy of the victim, identified as Leopold Haring, “one of the most famous and acclaimed architects in the world,” Teska discovers that a puncture wound from an unknown weapon was the actual cause of death. An earthquake and complications in Teska’s romantic life add little as the lead predictably puts herself in jeopardy by investigating Haring’s murder. A contrived denouement is another negative. The authors don’t make Teska any sort of rival to Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan. Agent: Jessica Papin, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/13/2020
Release date: 01/19/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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