By Darden North
There are said to be 5 manners of death. North’s characters explore each of them in his latest novel of the same name. They are as follows:
- Natural Death – due to disease or old age
- Accidental Death – most often by an accident or mishap, sometimes by overdoses or allergic reactions
- Suicide – intentionally taking one’s own life
- Homicide – murder
- Undetermined – could be any of the above, but the information isn’t clear enough to be definitive
As a surgeon, Dr. Diana Bratton often sees dead bodies. But when they start showing up in her personal life, she begins to get spooked. The victims are not especially close to Diana, but somehow she feels as though they are linked to her. She talks to her friend Key Martin, who happens to be the Chief of Police in their town. Diana helped him solve crimes before when he was a detective and she hopes to get his thoughts about the recent deaths she either witnessed or heard about after she crossed paths with the deceased.
Martin is more than willing to get any extra information from her, and will share a bit of his findings with her. As the story progresses, they find more pieces of the puzzle due to their collaboration. Unfortunately, the clues are leading them closer to people she cares about or cared about at one time.
Diana is determined to get to the bottom of the situation before it comes home to roost. After all, she has a teenage daughter to worry about as well as her Aunt Phoebe, the only two people she loves and cares about. There is a doctor that she fancies, but her involvement with the police does not sit well with him.
While the plot I just described may sound like a cozy mystery, rest assured The 5 Manners of Death is not. This fast paced crime novel alternates between 1965 and present day. The events that occurred in 1965 come crashing to a halt on the doorstep of a present day murderer who will do anything to remain unidentified.
North expertly crafts the characters and settings to pull the reader into the story and holds you until the last pages bring the novel to a spectacular end. It is no surprise that Darden North is an award winning author. He paints landscapes and parlors with his words, filling every scene with lifelike characters that could be the people next door. Of course you might not want some of them as neighbors.
This is the first book by North that I have read, but I am looking forward to reading his previous books, House Call, Points of Origin, Fresh Frozen and Wiggle Room. I highly recommend The 5 Manners of Death to anyone that enjoys a great mystery with complex characters.
Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.