Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Beauty & The Beast: Some Gave All - Nancy Holder

Beauty & The Beast: Some Gave All
Nancy Holder
Titan Books, May 26 2015, $14.95
ISBN: 9781783292202

As her relationship with J.T. Forbes teeters, NYPD Captain Tess Vargas focuses on the mauled deaths of six people that appear to be beast related.  Tess’ lead detective on the serial killings case Catherine Chandler accompanies her lover Dr. Vincent Keller on a visit to dying Maurice Riley who recently buried his daughter Roxanne Lafferty, Delta Force soldier who died in Afghanistan.  While chatting with the grieving Maurice, Tess contacts Cat to tell her to get to the scene of the seventh victim.  Maurice shows the pair a letter he received from the Freedom Fighters of New York that claims Roxanne is alive but incarcerated by a nefarious group whose experiments changed her into a monster.

In the Bronx, Cat investigates the murder of eight year old Aliyah Patel’s guardian Aunt Indira by a “monster” who invaded their home.  The traumatized child has become mute and unable to cooperate.  Cat feels an affinity to the frightened tweener as she knows firsthand what she child is going through.  Vincent personally knows what it feels like to turn into an out of control berserker beast; speculating he asks his friend J.T. if he thought Lafferty is behind the rage homicides.

The second Beauty and the Beast urban fantasy mystery (see Vendetta) is an entertaining adaptation of the TV series in which relationships and even somewhat the title characters’ adversaries take a back seat to the investigations.  The cases engage the audience and the metamorphosis of veteran Keller, especially summed up by a late threat, adds tension. 

Harriet Klausner

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