Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Last Writes - 4th in the Forensic Handwriting Mystery series
Author: Sheila Lowe
Release Date: September 2010
Year/Setting: Present day, California
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Sheila's Website/Blog: www.sheilalowe.com
Claudia Rose is a forensic handwriting expert. She is able to analyze handwriting to determine the state of mind of the person who wrote it.
Claudia's friend Kelly Brennan, an attorney, finds out that she has a niece by a sister that she hasn't seen since the girl was very young and their mother decided to move her four younger children away, leaving Kelly with Claudia's family. The sister, Erin Powers, shows up at Claudia's home begging for help as her husband has taken their daughter away and she doesn't know where they are. The three of them had been living a life as members of the Temple of Brighter Light in a compound. This group believes that the end of the world is at hand and the small girls of the group are being put into a convent at three years of age and are to become priestesses in the service of the Lord God when this world ends and the new earth begins. The child, Kylie, has been taken away by her father and a note is left behind saying: DON'T BOTHER LOOKING. THERE MIGHT BE SUFFERING BUT NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK. GOD'S WILL BE DONE. The note is signed Rodney Powers, who is the child's father.
Using her skills as a forensic handwriting expert, Claudia enters the Temple compound, invited by the leader, Harold Stedman, to read some of the statements written by the people at the compound to see if any of them are lying about their reasons for being there. She has only a short time to try and locate Rodney and his daughter before an ancient prophecy will be fulfilled and the child's life will be written off for all time.
This was a very interesting book. I had never read about handwriting experts and found it very unique. The characters are very real and meld together nicely. A very good chance to see the tools and techniques of graphology. I highly recommend this book to mystery readers (not just cozy mysteries) as the puzzles are really fun and you will want to read it in one sitting. Enjoy, and I'll talk to you soon.
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