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Saturday, 28 September 2013

‘Programmed to kill’ by Barbara Fagan Speake

Published by Country Books
ISBN 978-1-906789-52-7

Annie MacPherson, heroine of the previous book, Primed by the Past, is continuing her placement with the Westford CT Police on a six month exchange from England.  As the final ends of the earlier case are tidied away, another murder erupts with child pornography as the focus of attention.  Barbara develops a complex situation with parental concerns, domestic violence issues, highly placed individuals who attempt to interfere with the police’s work and always the fear of more apparently inexplicable deaths.  The dark secrets that these people are hiding from the world are dragged out into the light.   The murderer’s voice is directly heard though, of course, the reader is unaware of his or her identity until the thrilling climax.  
Barbara’s experience in research and clinical psychology enables her to reach a highly realistic level of characterisation for victims, investigators and perpetrators.   The perennial themes of love and revenge are present and the moral ambiguities that develop for all to consider are fascinating.  Annie’s own  love life develops further as a more cheerful though still morally complex counter weight to the horrible deaths.  This is a highly readable book which leaves me looking forward to the next!
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Barbara Fagan Speake has published three crime novels so far and is working on a fourth.

Barbara Fagan Speake was born and brought up in Connecticut. She has written 3 crime novels so far.  The first, Secrets Only Sleep, is a standalone mystery.  The second is this book and the third, Programmed to Kill, develops Annie’s adventures in the USA further

Jennifer Palmer. Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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