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She is a structural engineer by education and training, but is now a full time author of historical mysteries set in and around Cleveland Ohio. The Unclaimed Victim is her third novel. The first, The Dead Key, remains one of my favorite novels of 2015. The subject is an abandoned bank building and the story of a young engineer and what she finds there. The second, The Buried Book, is the story of a young boy looking for his mother. Both easily earned 5 stars. The Unclaimed Victim is another winner. The story moves constantly between Cleveland of the 1930s and Cleveland (and a nearby town) of 1999. The 1930s portions are about the Cleveland Torso Murderer who removed victims heads and limbs and posed their torsos. The Torso Murderer was real; he killed at least 12 people, 5 women and 7 men, only four of whom were identified. He was also known as the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run. The 12 Cleveland murders occurred between 1935 and 1938 inclusive. Some believe he killed at least 13 others in other cities between the late 1920s and 1950. The Torso Murderer was never identified or captured.
In 1999 torso of a man turns up near Cleveland. It appears based on a tattoo to be the dad of 19 year old Cleveland State University student Kris Wiley, the protagonist of the story. Anything more risks revealing the plot, so I'll stop there. Audible classifies this novel's genre as suspense mystery/thriller while I believe it is more aptly classified as historical mystery/thriller.
Narration is excellent, but it is not as good as either of the author's first two audio novels.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
This story begins with Kris Wiley being called by her father's best friend. He's a police officer and he needs her to come to the station. Her father had been missing for four days and now they think he's been found. They want her to identify a tattoo on her father's shoulder. She can't identify the body because the police won't show it to her. All thats left of him is his body, his head, hands and one leg are missing.
When she goes to her father's house she finds things that don't belong to him. Strange library books like Torso Killer and books about zombies. When she takes them to the library she finds they were checked out three years ago and to an address right down the road from her own rental.
The book flips between 1999 and 1938 when similar murders occurred. If you read Wayne's review he gives some very interesting details on these murders that I was unaware of.
This book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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20 of 21 people found this review helpful