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18 March 2011

In the Belly of Jonah, by Sandra Brannan


So I wouldn't disturb my sleeping husband, I crept back out to my living room late last night to finish this book. I also may...have turned on every single light, locked the doors, and begged both my dog and cat to come out with me and sleep on the couch with me while I read.

Liv Bergen is a young woman working as a division manager for a successful quarry in Colorado. When one of her employees is discovered murdered, surrounded by bizarre objects and gruesomely mutilated, she becomes involved in the case, suggesting possible explanations for the FBI's unanswered questions of how and why the killer may have done what he did, all the while wondering if her suggestions are absurd. When an old college friend, now an FBI agent, visits Liv's town to work on the case, she becomes even more involved, presenting plausible answers for the most confusing aspects of the case.

While a serial killer is frightening, the manner in which he is killing is even more disturbing. Liv's employee is discovered with a window cut cleanly into her body, a perfect rectangle with everything that would be in that section of her body completely removed. What could cut a body like that, and who would do it? Who could do it?

Sandra Brannan's first installment in the Liv Bergen Mystery Series is a serial killer story unlike others. Peppered with wit, self-deprecation, and moments of stunning brutality, In the Belly of Jonah magically captures the intense paths of both the serial killer and the one in which to stop him. This killer is freakish, elusive, but generally "normal," inasmuch as someone who likes to kill, can be. Liv is honest and real, innocently figuring out each step of the puzzle to its frightening conclusion. Liv is a smart chick who can easily hold her own with the best of them - whether they are part of her quarry-mining team or with the FBI, she's not one to back down. And in this story, she can't back down because whether she likes it or not, she has a serial killer to stop.

If you like Harlan Coban and Patricia Cornwall, you should probably rush right out to get this one for your bookshelf.

Happy Reading,
Coffee and a Book Chick

About the Author
After living in Wyoming, Washington, D.C., Washington State, and Colorado, Sandra Brannan returned to her hometown in South Dakota, where she is surrounded by family. She enjoys working with relatives in the mining business; living in the Black Hills with her husband, Joel; smiling with pride over the journeys taken by her four sons; doting over her three grandchildren; and appreciating all of life's blessings, too many to count. Sandra's forthcoming titles in her Liv Bergen mystery thriller series are Lot's Return to Sodom, Widow's Might, and Noah's Rainy Day.

Get frequent updates by visiting her Facebook page or following her on Twitter.

22 comments:

  1. I have this one in my TBR pile. Need to get to it soon!

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  2. I haven't read this one because I don't normally read thrillers and crime novels (I'm a wuss!), but I met the author last year at BEA and she was so nice and wonderful! :)

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  3. This is the one book I wanted to get at SIBA and didn't manage to get. Boy, does it sound good! I'll have to get hold of a copy!

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  4. If you were scared, I don't know if I could handle it, but I love a good thriller/mystery.

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  5. I got the In the Belly of Jonah t-shirt at the Book Blogger Convention last year so it was fun to see your review all these months later! I'll have to look for this one at the library.

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  6. I can't believe I haven't read this yet... it sounds so good!! I met the author at Book Blogger Con last year and she is one of the nicest people ever. I need to get on this one for sure.

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  7. For those of you who have not read it, please do so soon! I loved it too and she is amazing!
    Thanks for sharing this!

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  8. I don't like serial killer books, but your review is certainly intriguing!

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  9. I think I'm gonna have to start reading more adult books because this one sounds like something I'd like. It's been a while since I've read a good serial killer book too. Great review!

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  10. I knew Michelle would pop up to sing this one's praises! I was so bummed that I missed Brannan when she was in Omaha last summer.

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  11. I have this one on my kitchen table to pick up and start reading. . .i don't know why i haven't started it yet!!! i met the author at SIBA, loved her and wanted to get to know her even more and now I hear she has another book coming out soon - ugh!!! I'm reading this one NEXT!!! awesome review!!! and i'll be sure to keep the lights on and my dog and cat close by

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  12. This sounds like a really good thriller! I'll definitely be checking it out...thanks for the great review!

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  13. Like Kathy, I had been hoping to pick this one up at SIBA, but your review makes it startlingly clear to me that I need to rush out and read this book soon! It is a rare talent for one author to incorporate so many elements that work so successfully into a book of this genre, and your review was enthusiastic and wonderful. Off to shop now, I think!

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  14. I'm a bit of a mystery wuss, so I worry this one might be too much for me. It does sound like a great read though.

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  15. Boy, I want to read this one. Even though the cover gives me the willies.

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  16. I will definitely keep this in mind next time I am craving a good thriller. What a perfect cover for the title!

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  17. Glad you liked this one! I'm too much of a wuss for mysteries, but I did meet the author at BEA and when she was in Madison a few months ago, and she is really lovely. I like reading good reviews of the book :)

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  18. I'm a wuss, like Nymeth, so this one sounds like a total pass. But, I had to at least leave a comment because I haven't been here in a while. LOVE your photo of you posing next to the statue, a few posts back!!

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  19. I do like Harlan Coben so would probably like this one! Great review!

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  20. wow, so impressed you cold read this in the middle of the night! i would need broad daylight!

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  21. Girl this sounds like a thriller that scares you till daylight. I'd so have every single light in the house on for this one.

    Tagging this one down too... you are breaking my BANK ACCOUNT! Another fab review :)

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