Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mystery/Suspense Review ~ INKSLINGERS BALL by Sheila Lowe

Inkslingers Ball (A Forensic Handwriting Mystery, #5)
by: Sheila Lowe
Series: Forensic Handwriting Mystery
Genre: Mystery Suspense
Release Date: June 2, 2014
Source: Author

A teenage girl, brutally murdered and left in a trash dumpster; a young man, killed in a firebombing attack; a soccer mom, shot in the living room of her home; vicious thugs whose job is to protect a suspected criminal. Just another week on rotation for LAPD detective Joel Jovanic...until he uncovers a connection between the disturbing series of vicious crimes and Annabelle Giordano, who is in the temporary custody of his soulmate, Claudia Rose.

Annabelle is a troubled and traumatized teen who suffered the tragic loss of her mother and later witnessed the brutal murder of a beloved mentor. Neglected by a father who scarcely acknowledges her existence, it’s little wonder the girl makes some disastrous life choices.

But she has one staunch ally in Claudia, a highly regarded forensic graphologist who digs into the darkest of human secrets through the study of handwriting. When Annabelle involves herself with a questionable tattoo artist she re-opens a door to the grim side of life and goes down a path that could get her killed. A distraught Claudia will do anything to save her, even if it means jeopardizing her relationship with Jovanic.

Inkslingers Ball was a very captivating mystery.  It kept my full attention all the way through to the end.  Everything about it was both intriguing and informative.  I had no idea how much someone could learn from studying other people’s handwriting although I have a degree in psychology myself.  The characters had a lot of depth and I felt like I knew them.  I love mystery and suspense novels and this one did not disappoint.  I am not much into tattoos but I can appreciate their artistic value so it was equally satisfying to see the world of handwriting analysis and tattoo artistry collide.

There is a lengthy cast of characters so I will just stick to the most important few.  Claudia Rose is a handwriting expert.  Her boyfriend, Joel Jovanic is a LAPD homicide detective.  Annabelle Giordano is a fifteen-year-old girl that is staying with Claudia Rose while Annabelle’s father is out of town for work.  A firebombing and murder at a tattoo parlor leads all of them into a murder investigation that will have as much to do with Annabelle’s past as her future. The tangled web that will be woven kept me in my seat and every new detail and subsequent murder kept me guessing as to what would happen next.  I was never disappointed.  The insight that Claudia was able to provide Joel because of her particular expertise was astonishing.  Who knew that handwriting analysis could be so cool?  In addition, Annabelle’s dark past lends another dimension to the storyline.  Unfortunately, her innocence  was lost a while ago and she is struggling to find her way.  Re-connecting with her past sends her down a deep hole that she may not be able to dig herself out of.

Inkslingers Ball is part of a series that I will surely have to read.  There is so much more to tell but you will have to unravel the mystery yourself.

**Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased review.**

Rating: 5

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