Burial in a Barrel – a review of “Entombed”

I settled in with “Entombed” for something more substantive than the last few fluffy romance novels I’d read. Author Ruth Parker delivers on the issue of substance with a tricky plot, complete with some wicked twists and turns. Journalist Cammy (Camille) West has returned to her hometown to research and write a book about the unspeakable murders her father committed. To help her she hired a former professor and forensic entomologist, now turned P.I. Jake Musgrove and Cammy had a history ten years ago but that passion hasn’t abated no matter how hard she denies it, and Jake isn’t giving up on them. A serial killer is once again on the loose and this time he has Cammy in his sights. This is not your garden-variety serial killer but a sicko who tortures and dismembers his victims and then stuffs them into barrels. As more characters are introduced the plot gets even more complicated.

This romantic thriller has a lot going for it; good character development and an original and engrossing plot. However I found myself tripping over the author’s overdone metaphors and inane analogies. The judicious use of metaphors as a literary device is meant to allow for creativity in expressing nuances in experiences, emotions, etc. But the operative term here is “judicious”. The storyline in this novel is strong enough to carry the reader through the experience without all the forced and reaching metaphors. They were more of a distraction than an enhancement. Distraction soon turned to annoyance from the constant barrage of clunky passages that occasionally ran to whole pages. Sometimes less is better. Three and a half stars.

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