Desecration by J.F. Penn

Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery Thriller
File Size: 445 KB
ISBN-10: 1493622188
ISBN-13: 978-1493622184
Print Length: 192 pages

Desecration is J.F. Penn’s first mystery, but her story-telling mastery makes this an excellent read, not only for crime readers but also for those fascinated with death, the supernatural, and the macabre. There are body snatchings, secret societies, teratolody (the study of physiological abnormalities), body modification, psychic readings, and more.

The mystery revolves around the killing of Jenna Neville, an antivivisectionist heiress who was investigating her parent’s pharmaceutical company. Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke has a daughter, Polly who is dying from Type II spinal muscular atrophy, a painful disorder that contorts the spines of its young victims. Jamie the detective must split her time with Jamie the mother.

On the corpse, the detective finds an unusual ivory statuette. To discover its significance, Jamie consults with Blake Daniel, a specialist in ivory carvings at the British Museum, and who can also psychically “read” objects. To help allay her skepticism, Blake “reads” Jamie’s hair comb. From this, an unusual connection is created between the two characters.

With the information gleamed from his visions, Jamie starts to puzzle out the murder. At the death of her daughter, Jamie becomes involved in a very personal way. To avoid a spoiler, I will not tell you how this is so. You will have to read the book.

I look forward to future books involving Jamie and Blake.