Stone Maidens

Stone Maidens - Lloyd Devereux Richards Right off the bat, I will tell you what cost this book a star: the protagonist is a forensic anthropologist (my major), but I didn't see her conduct any actual osteologic investigations during this story. It was her profession that caused me to pick up this book; I like well-written forensic anthro fiction.So, there's that. All the same, this is a tightly conducted murder mystery. FBI Special Agent Christine Prusik is the SAC (special agent in charge) of an investigation into a series of murders in southern Indiana. Her antagonist is not so much the murderer as it is a subordinate member of her staff: a man for whom reporting to a woman rankles so much that he tries to subvert her at every turn. As more and more young women go missing, each of them turning up with a significant clue upon autopsy, we see both the anti-Prusik attitude and Prusik's anxiety about the case ratchet up.It's a good whodunnit, although I began to suspect how it would come out about halfway into the book. I blame this on having read many mysteries over the course of my life; it's pretty difficult to get one past me. That said, I really think that the author made his protagonist a forensic anthropologist to try to take advantage of what people in the field have referred to for years as the "CSI effect." He could just as easily have given her a different discipline and would have made no difference to the story given the lack of forensic anthro contained therein.(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)