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Unleashed by Eileen Brady

Unleashed” is the second in the “A Kate Turner, D.V.M. Mystery” series by veterinarian-writer Eileen Brady.  Brady has succeeded in creating a multi-dimensional protagonist in Kate Turner who has the same struggles as many other young professionals who are trying to pay off student loans while building practices, becoming established in a community, making friends and building lasting relationships all within the confines of the 24 hour day in a small town environment.  Kate Turner just happens to add on top of all that an interest in helping the police (mostly without their support) solve murder mysteries.

In “Unleashed” one of Kate’s clients is killed and, once Kate proves it was murder and not suicide that did in her accomplished artist client, a mentally challenged aide at the vet clinic is blamed for the murder.  Kate knows that Eugene could not have been responsible for the death, even though he seemed to have confessed his guilt to the police.  There are lots of potential killers and many blind leads that Kate follows. Possible motives range from lover jealousy, to art forgeries and blackmail, family inheritance, to accidental and unintentional injury. Just as in her first Kate Turner book, there is a lot of tension, both of the legal and sexual kind, between Kate and police deputy Luke Gianetti.

I felt that the first book in this series was stronger, overall, than “Unleashed.”  I did not find the killer very convincing.  Without giving too much of a spoiler, the people who were in the killer’s circle are portrayed as innocent bystanders, and there is even a person who is being kept against his will who certainly would have been noticed in such a small community and might have come forward to spoil the plot. At the very least more should have been developed in the storyline surrounding the killer and his circle of associates in order to justify how the killer could have carried this off successfully.

I just don’t think aspects of the plot were well thought out, and for that reason it would have been better for the killer to have been someone who had equally strong motivation and seemed to fit the clues better.

That being said, I still enjoyed reading “Unleashed” and will look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

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