“Shattered by Death” is the second in the “A Jo Oliver Thriller” by Catherine Finger. The protagonist is small town police chief, Jo Oliver, who is locked out of the investigation of the brutal killings of her estranged husband and his girl friend in a double homicide. Oliver finds them in the boat house of the property she and her husband still own together. Oliver’s close friend and budding romantic interest, FBI agent Nick Vitarello, presents evidence to clear Oliver of the crime, against the police chief’s will.
Many women will identify strongly with Oliver. She is generous with her time in that she volunteers at a couple of women’s shelters. This fact she wants to keep secret to protect the identies of the battered women who are sheltered, even though security tapes from the shelters will prove here whereabouts during the murders. She is in the process of adopting a child, even as she fights a contentious divorce. She is bull-headed, full of self-doubt about her worthiness to ever be loved (doubts Nick constantly tries to assuage), and she is a born-again Christian who frequently calls on God for guidance and support.
The identity of the serial killer who tries to frame the Chief is not a particular surprise to me, but the twists and turns that lead to the ending keep “Shattered by Death” a suspenseful read. Two thumbs up.
Review copy was provided.