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A Grave Talent: Kate Martinelli    by Laurie R. King order for
Grave Talent
by Laurie R. King
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2014 (1993)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Detective Al Hawkin, a recent transfer, draws a high profile case that could make or break his career in San Francisco. The bodies of three murdered girls of kindergartner age are found in a community outside of San Francisco. The children came from wealthy neighborhoods inside the city. The first abduction was just before Thanksgiving, followed six weeks later by another, and finally a third child, which is when Hawkin is given the case. He's not happy when along with the case, he is given newly promoted Kate Martinelli as partner.

The gated community where the bodies were found consists of just over seventy people and is owned by eccentric landowner John Tyler who doesn't allow electricity or telephones beyond the gates. Most of the residents live along an old fire road that washes out frequently during hard rains. Cars are allowed up the road only two days a week.

Hawkin and Martinelli soon identify a prime suspect in talented resident painter Vaun Adams. At eighteen the renowned artist was convicted of a similar murder. Her background is unknown to the community. When she tries to commit suicide, the detectives are sure they are on the right track. But nothing is as it seems, and while digging deeper into Adams' past they find law enforcement officers who believe she wasn't guilty of the murder for which she was convicted.

First published in 1993, the Edgar-winning novel A Grave Talent has now been reissued. This is one of King's best. If you're a mystery fan and you missed it the first time around, you'll want to read it now along with the rest of the books in the Kate Martinelli series.

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