The Body Reader, by Anne Frasier
After reading the blurb, we were expecting the main character’s body-reading ability to be a bit over the top–in a good way! We love abilities that verge on the supernatural. As it turns out, Anne Frasier based those abilities solidly in the real world. (If anything, they’re underplayed.) But the plot kept us turning the pages, and, in the end, we didn’t care that it was more of a straight crime thriller than a supernatural one.
The main character’s response to her traumatic past is not always what you might expect, which is one of the strongest aspects of the novel. Real human behavior is never one-dimensional, and neither is Jude Fontaine. It makes the character believable–a strong, complex human being who endured a horrific ordeal and is now learning to live with it in her day-to-day life.
The violence in the novel is not especially graphic, but it isn’t sugar-coated either. Jude Fontaine manages to stay on her feet by approaching every experience–from physical torture to ordering a latte–with a detached, honest self-awareness that will make you chuckle in one minute and then break your heart the next. Thanks to both the suspense and the feels, it kept us reading late into the night.
Bottom line: A gripping crime thriller that doesn’t pull any punches.
From the publisher:
A Thriller Award winner, Best Paperback Original Novel.
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.
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