Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pg. 69: Elizabeth Becka's "Unknown Means"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Elizabeth Becka's Unknown Means.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Elizabeth Becka’s latest highly suspenseful novel, forensic scientist Evelyn James returns to investigate a harrowing series of crimes—only to find that no one is safe.

Evelyn James is a forensic specialist in the Cleveland Medical Examiner’s office who’s juggling a demanding workload, a teenage daughter from a failed marriage, and a homicide detective boyfriend. And somehow she always happens to be involved in some of the twistiest, most challenging crime scenes imaginable.

This time around she’s called in to investigate what appears to be a locked-room mystery: A wealthy woman is murdered in the penthouse suite of a luxurious, high-security building. The building’s intricate surveillance system didn’t pick up anything, the entrance wasn’t forced, and the victim’s husband has an airtight alibi. Cases like this, Evelyn knows, can turn on the most microscopic piece of evidence—if she can find any. Things look even trickier when another victim turns up in another penthouse suite. Then Evelyn’s best friend is attacked—and things get personal. And when a third person is found dead, Evelyn realizes that the killer’s choice of victim is anything but random...
Among the early praise for the novel:
"Forensic scientist Evelyn James of the Cleveland Medical Examiner's office returns for this welcome second novel, following Becka's debut, Trace Evidence.... Becka, a Cape Coral, Fla., forensic scientist formerly with the Cleveland coroner's office, keeps the details of this gripping procedural vivid all the way up to the harrowing finale. Fans of Patricia Cornwell's prickly Kay Scarpetta will find Evelyn a complementary contrast."
--Publishers Weekly

"This is grab-you-by-the-throat suspense, written by someone who has actually walked the disturbing walk of an investigator."
--Tess Gerritsen, author of Body Double

"Elizabeth Becka isn't just an expert in her field of forensic science, she's a fine storyteller. Characters you'll care about, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and fascinating details that never slow the action--just a few of the reasons you're going to love the Evelyn James series."
--Jan Burke, author of Bloodlines

"The combination of a credible, likable hero and a bizarre, chilling story is rare in crime fiction, but Elizabeth Becka makes the tumblers click perfectly. Evelyn James wins over the reader from the opening page."
--Jeremiah Healy, author of Invasion of Privacy and The Only Good Lawyer
Learn more about Unknown Means and its author at Elizabeth Becka's website.

Becka's novel, Trace Evidence, the first in a series featuring Forensic Scientist Evelyn James, deals with a set of bizarre deaths in the Cuyahoga River, a rookie homicide detective, the mayor of Cleveland, a local mobster, and her own teenage daughter.

The Page 69 Test: Unknown Means.

--Marshal Zeringue