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A DARK AND DEADLY DECEPTION by Eleanor Taylor Bland

A DARK AND DEADLY DECEPTION

By Eleanor Taylor Bland

Pub Date: Dec. 19th, 2005
ISBN: 0-312-32667-X
Publisher: Minotaur

The cops in Lincoln Prairie, Ill., find a fresh and literal addition to the skeletons in a murdered actress’s closet.

When the bones of a youngish male are discovered in an old building, with a bullet in the skull, no one can say who he was, how long he’s been there, how he got there or why no one ever missed him. The skeleton has black Detective Marti MacAlister and her white partner Vik Jessenovik scratching their heads. Meanwhile, bit player Savannah Payne-Jones’s bid for Hollywood glory ends when she’s fished out of the Des Plaines River, a bullet in her skull as well. Though her part in a locally filmed movie had been small, a producer tells Marti that “she could act.” She could also keep dangerous secrets, even from a loving daughter. On the home front, Marti’s husband Ben may have prostate cancer—the sort of complication that can put a murder investigation into diminished perspective. Still, Marti’s a stone professional, and professionals have to compartmentalize. So it’s back to a case whose accumulating evidence indicates that the old bones may be connected to the fresh bones.

Part police procedural, part domestic drama. But after 13 entries (A Cold and Silent Dying, 2004, etc.), the formula seems a bit, well, bland.