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Detective Jude Fontaine perceives what others can not
August 25, 2016
The Body Reader
by Anne Frasier
Thomas & Mercer
Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)
Pub Date 21 Jun 2016
While dark and troubling, The Body Reader is an enthralling novel that keeps you pinned to the page. Detective Jude Fontaine knows evil. She grew up with it. She became a detective to help eliminate it. She was abducted and spent the last three years being tortured by a man who embodied it. Her long-term isolation left her with two things - hyper acute senses and an intense awareness of minute changes in body posture, tone, and expression. While her experiences left her damaged, Jude Fontaine is not a person who seeks out pity or outside comfort. She is both stronger and more vulnerable than observers perceive. Anne Frasier skillful writing enables the reader to bond with Jude Fontaine, to empathize with her and understand her. It is understandable that her partner Detective Uriah Ashby and her chief are uneasy about her return to service, possessing doubts regarding her mental stability. Anne Frasier’s depiction of Jude Fontaine clearly shows her unease with emotion and difficulty interacting, without making Jude robotic or unlikable. Instead, Jude is captivating with a surprising strength of character and conviction.
In The Body Reader (which I hope is the first novel of a series) Detective Jude Fontaine’s return to service coincides with the discovery of a young woman’s body in a lake. At first glance it appears to be suicide, but Jude is certain from the girl’s body and expression that it isn’t. The search for the killer draws Jude’s attention to a missing persons case brought to her personal attention immediately before her abduction. The ties between Jude’s past and the present murder lead to doubts about her sanity and ability to continue as a detective.
The Body Reader is an incredible crime novel, dark and compelling with a fascinating female lead. If you like police procedurals and psychological thrillers, The Body Reader is an excellent choice. But I would not recommend the novel for teens. The disturbing nature of the crimes depicted makes The Body Reader a novel best for an 18+ audience.
I hope Anne Frasier writes more novels featuring Detective Jude Fontaine.
I received a copy of The Body Reader from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning his every line, every movement, and every flicker of thought is what kept her alive.
After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice—and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead. Despite colleagues’ doubts about her mental state, she resumes her role at Homicide. Her new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, doesn’t trust her sanity, and he has a story of his own he’d rather keep hidden. But a killer is on the loose, murdering young women, so the detectives have no choice: they must work together to catch the madman before he strikes again. And no one knows madmen like Jude Fontaine.