In Last Writes, Claudia Rose is asked to help find Kelly's niece, Kylie, who's been taken away by her father. Kylie, who is about to turn three, has been dubbed "the chosen one" by the Temple of Brighter Light, a cult her mother and father belong to. It appears that the child's life is in danger and Kelly wants Claudia to use her handwriting analysis skills to help find the child.
I loved this book. It got my attention and held it until the very end. It's very well written and has a captivating and current storyline. Handwriting analysis isn't something I know a whole lot about, but it's a really fascinating field. I really enjoyed reading about the job and the work it entails. I was extremely excited to learn that the author was a handwriting expert. I knew at that point that the information was going to be plentiful and accurate. Beside the handwriting analysis, the other part of the story line revolves around the cult. That was equally fascinating, but I wondered how much personal experience the author had with that aspect of the story. Not that I any doubt about the accuracy of the information. I'm just curious.
All through the book, I wondered what Lowe could have said about me based on my terrible handwriting. *cringe* At this point in my life, I don't think she couldn't tell me anything I don't already know about myself, but I'm sure I'd be surprised about how much my handwriting reveals.
This book is forth book in the Forensic Handwriting Mysteries series. Despite that, the book didn't dwell on past events from the other books. I loved that about this book. If there was mention of a past case or past event, it slipped by me and that's just fine. I dislike it when the story depends too much on past events that happened in previous books, especially when I haven't read those books, as is the case here. Speaking of previous books in the series, the covers on those appear to be a little edgier, while this one appears to be more cozy. I think that this book could fit into the cozy genre. However, the story has a psychological aspect to it that makes it more serious and definitely less flighty (and better) than others in the genre. There's a very interesting post over at Lesa's Book Critiques in which the author discusses the cover. This really is a great book; I really hope that it reaches the right readers.
graphology (page 162): the study of handwriting
obstreperous (page 116): disruptive
Highly recommended. I think fans of psychological suspense and/or cozies will enjoy this one. I'll definitely be looking for more works by this author.
For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit Penguin's website.
For more information about the author and other Claudia Rose books, please visit the Claudia Rose website.
For more information about the author and her work as a handwriting expert, please visit Sheila Lowe's website.
I'd like to thank those Dana Kaye from Kaye Publicity for this review copy.
Last Writes: A Forensic Handwriting Mystery by Sheila Lowe, New American Library (Penguin), ©2010. 9780451231109(mass market), 290p.