It has been nearly a year since the events depicted in “Singularity” and only now is Lieutenant Sarah Armstrong somewhat ready to return to work as a criminal profiler for the legendary law enforcement organization Texas Rangers. Her time at the ranch outside of Houston, Texas with her Mom, her daughter Maggie and the horses has helped her a lot and she is ready to work again if Mom and Maggie are okay with it.

 

She certainly is needed at work. Not only is there a case of a suicide that is just too perfect, teenage pop star Cassidy Collins is coming to Texas to do some shows. Coming with her and very much unwanted is the stalker who is terrorizing her and threatening to kill her. Known as “Argus” he seems to always know what she is doing on stage and off and has inserted himself into her life at every turn. He seems determined to end the harassment by killing her and appears unstoppable as he has, among other things, taken over her communications systems at concerts.

 

Fortunately for Cassidy, Sarah is back on the job and has help from FBI agent David Garrity. A former romantic love interest, he provides a compelling back story as does life on the ranch in another storyline with a medical crisis for one of their beloved horses.

 

“Blood Lines: A Mystery” is a much stronger second novel than the first book. Author Kathryn Casey made family and characters alive in the first novel and builds on those in this second book. In this series, people change and grow over time unlike the characters in some other series. In that way, the novel mirrors real life and the continuing characters easily come alive for the reader.

 

Believability regarding Sarah being a Texas Ranger was an issue with the first book which failed to deliver real behind the scenes details or sense that Sarah was an actual Texas Ranger. Billed as a “police procedural” by some reviewers, it really wasn’t and it never rang authentic in that area. While the Texas Rangers and law enforcement in general remains a key theme in the book, which some reviewers are also insisting it is a police procedural when it clearly isn’t, that area is secondary to the relationships between characters and understanding why folks act the way they do. Character development and interaction is clearly the author’s forte and when she focuses on that the novel rolls forward at a steady enjoyable pace.

 

Despite being predictable in a couple of spots for seasoned mystery readers, overall, the read is a good book with two compelling mystery cases that provide plenty of action, investigation and drama. While it can be read as a stand alone, reading the first novel will allow readers to experience both the growth of the characters as well as the fiction skills of the author.

  

Blood Lines: A Mystery

Kathryn Casey

Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Publishing Group)

http://www.minotaurbooks.com

2009

ISBN# 0-312-37951-X

$24.99

Hardback

294 Pages

   

Material provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library system.

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