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It's Bertrand's thesis that the Huston Police Department's a dysfunctional family. Oh, and that Roland March, his lead character, has a dysfunctional family. And that the society around him is, well, dysfunctional. March's life is a schizzo's irritating dreamworld. Mrch is essentially without emotional support from anyone. And yet…
Bertrand is a powerfully strong writer. The characters are deeper than saucepan grease, and get heated sufficiently to sizzle the story into your appetite to keep on listening. Still, it's such a cliché to include the detective's bosses among a book's heavies. It'd be nice to read a procedural novel today where the team supported one another.
MAJOR ALERT… This is Part Two of an epic novel which Bertrand started in "Back In Murder" a book I enjoyed. But, this plot is so dependent upon the earlier novel that YOU MUST READ IT FIRST, and perhaps review it before starting "Pattern Of Wounds". I'm a busy guy and frankly the dependence of this book upon that one really reduced my enjoyment since, well, I didn't want to work so hard to review all of the characters and details to follow this one.
So, on balance, I may buy another Bertrand book. But if he waits too long to write the next Roland March novel, I'll probably pass… I know that I'll forget too much of the plot to make the next in this series accessible.
Mel Foster did an OK job, but once again, the list of characters is sufficiently large that Foster had difficulty keeping their voices sufficiently distinct.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
This is my second Roland March murder mystery by J. Mark Bertrand. I thought that Mr. Bertrand's first book "Back on Murder" was excellent. I was equally pleased with "Pattern of Wounds." If you enjoy the mystery novels of James Lee Burke with his main detective, Dave Robicheau, I think you would enjoy these novels, too. The format for "Pattern of Wounds" was as an audio book. It was narrated by Mel Foster whom I thought did a very good job with the voices of the characters.
"Pattern of Wounds" refers to the pattern of knife wounds left by the killer on his victims. It, also, refers to the emotional and spiritual wounds of detective Roland March, his wife Charlotte, the young minister and his wife who rent an apartment from Roland and Charlotte, and many of the characters in the story. l have to say that I was captivated by the conversations Roland grudgingly engaged in with the young minister. They were intelligent, honest and compassionate.
Roland March is complicated. He is not the most well liked guy in the Houston Police Dept. But, neither is he corrupt, nor is he unaware of his shortcomings. In the investigation of the murders, he has to face some of his demons along the way, and the reader (or listener) is taken with him on a number of plot twists and surprises.
J. Mark Bertrand has created very real characters and situations. I am looking forward to his next Roland March mystery, "Nothing to Hide."
2 of 2 people found this review helpful