The Sun and the Sand and a Book in my Hand

Book Review: Local Artist by Paul Trembling

Book Review: Local Artist by Paul Trembling

Trembling’s book is an exciting mystery set in the U.K. It’s the second book in a loosely related series that began with Local Poet, and although there are some continuing characters, you won’t feel lost if you didn’t read the first one (because I didn’t either). I do plan to go back and read the first installment though, because this novel is quite captivating.

This post contains affiliate links, see disclosure for more details. I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.

About the Book:

Librarian Sandra Deeson is called back to the library in the middle of the night because it appears a burglary has occurred. She is shocked to find the corpse of an unknown man, apparently the victim of murder. A new wing of the library was just about to open with a local art exhibit, one that the artists’ group had stayed late to set up. This event brings back unpleasant memories for Sandra, as she had experienced something very similar as a young woman when she found another unidentified dead body. The investigation of that previous case jump-started Sandra’s career as an investigative journalist, but she was so entrenched in the case, even after finding nothing and hitting multiple dead ends, that she had to walk away from that career.

Now, thirty years later, Sandra decides that she must re-confront her past in order to make sense of what is happening now, and to see if the two incidents might be related somehow. When she finds a mysterious painting in her office that depicts the location of the first murder, she knows that she must see if she can make sense of the entire situation, despite the fact that unseen danger lurks around every corner.

My Thoughts:

As mentioned above, I had not read the first book in this series, but I didn’t really miss much, other than the story of some of the peripheral characters in this tale. This is a well-plotted mystery with a very likable heroine. Sandra is realistic, and although she takes a few more chances than most real people would, her flaws make her seem more human and keeps the reader invested. I felt a bit sorry for her husband, because although he stayed by her side throughout the first event, she didn’t feel like she could loop him in as to exactly what was happening between her past and present. Sandra is definitely experiencing some PTSD, which she should have shared with those closest to her.

The mystery itself is clever and was twisted enough to keep me engaged and wanting to know what was going to happen. Some parts of it were a bit too coincidental and convenient, but overall it’s pretty captivating. The story would actually make a great Lifetime mystery movie, as the action and suspense are fairly constant. Although this novel is labeled as Christian fiction, the faith message is very light and unobtrusive and is very approachable for anyone interested in a clean, yet not too tame suspense book.

Bottom Line:

Local Artist is a fascinating and intriguing mystery. The characters are like real people and the situations keep the suspense going throughout the story until all is revealed in the end. I look forward to reading Local Legend when it is released.


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