Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman has started to get comfortable. She has found a new home and a place where she feel she finally belongs. She is the Medical Examiner for the San Francisco Police Department and she enjoys her work, her calling, helping the dead find their voice. Her job is a safe haven from her past, a former life she left seven years ago. A life that included an abusive husband. A life that still has her looking over her shoulder to make sure there’s no one there.
Schwartzman’s latest case threatens to shatter her feelings of safety. A woman is found murdered in her home. As she begins her initial examination, she’s struck by the striking resemblance this woman has to Schwartzman. The colors and the layout of the apartment remind her of a life that was left behind, a life she fled. The necklace the young woman is wearing is an exact match to the one that Schwartzman wears around her own neck. Is this just a coincidence or is someone sending Annabelle Schwartzman a message?
I did enjoy this novel. It was fast paced and very well written. I know that some people took issue with how Annabelle Schwartzman was portrayed. I thought she was a little flat, but I can definitely understand why she could appear so strong and then so fragile. She had an abusive husband who nearly killed her, what woman wouldn’t be afraid? She is a damaged woman who still has some steel in her spine. Now that she has a new life and people who care about her, she doesn’t want to let them go and she’s willing to face the past and the man she ran away from years ago.
There are a lot of twists and turns in the beginning and the middle of the book, which make for a very satisfying read and it really does keep you turning the pages. But the story definitely loses steam at the end. What looked like a very carefully woven plan completely unravels and becomes nearly incoherent and unbelievable. I don’t mind a nice, tidy ending. But I think that the climax and end need to at least make sense. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman and I’m looking forward to see if the next installment will improve.