BRAIN STORM by Elaine Viets


Death Investigator Angela Richman, Book 1

Angela Richman is a death investigator in the upper crust neighborhood known as The Forest. While investigating two very different cases – the death of an elderly bachelor, which Angela is convinced is accidental, and the death of a local teen in a drag racing incident, Angela is virtually crippled by what she believes is a migraine. One serious misdiagnosis and almost three weeks la cocky neurosurgeon. And when the doc that sent her home the first time around is murdered, Angela’s savior is the prime suspect.

While we’ve certainly seen death investigations carried out by medical examiners and such, this new series from Elaine Viets is the first to feature an actual death investigator.

I do love the idea of a death investigator as the protagonist in this series. Frankly, I’m amazed we haven’t actually seen it before. Angela is called to the scene of any death that doesn’t occur under medical care. It’s her job to photograph, collect, and collate evidence that may be linked to the death or help the medical examiner and police in determining cause of death. And While Angela is a respected member of the community, her attention to detail and her unwillingness to let the standing of some of her neighbors affect her investigations definitely creates some tension between her and other local law enforcement. And even while hospitalized and fighting for her life, the investigator still manages to ruffle more than a few feathers.

Interestingly, this first outing is based heavily in Viets’s own experiences back in 2007, when the author (as Angela does) suffered a series of strokes after being sent home under the guise of being “too young and fit to have a stroke.”

Brain Storm certainly isn’t cozy, but I’m sure Viets’s long time fans will find much to enjoy in this darker series first.

10/16 Becky LeJeune

BRAIN STORM by Elaine Viets. Thomas & Mercer (August 2, 2016).  ISBN 978-1503936317. 320p.


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