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by Sheila Lowe
Signet, September 2008
320 pages
ISBN: 0451224876

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Paige Sorenson hires forensic handwriting expert, Claudia Rose, to verify the validity of her late husband‛s will. Her husband was much older than Paige and two of his grown children, Diana and Dane, are disputing the legality of the will. They want possession of the Sorenson Academy, an all girls‛ school, and want Paige off the estate. By handwriting comparisons and other tests, Claudia is able to assist Paige and prove that she should inherit the lot.

This does not end Claudia‛s involvement in Paige‛s life. Feeling as though Paige needs a friend, Claudia decides to step into the role. While visiting the school, Claudia observes that Paige might not be the broken hearted friendless person she imagined. She also hears verbal attacks by Diana and Dane, both of whom make their presence felt the school. Claudia also attempts to help Annabelle Giordano, daughter of a famous film producer, through the use of handwriting therapy. Just as Claudia begins to feel as though she and Annabelle are making headway, disaster strikes.

Paige and Annabelle disappear over the holidays. Claudia is sure that they were kidnapped and are in danger regardless of what others believe. When Paige‛s body is discovered, Claudia has to convince the world that Annabelle is a victim too. As Annabelle was in love with Paige‛s boyfriend and had a history of causing problems, everyone assumes she be in some way responsible for Paige‛s death. Somehow, Claudia must convince the world of Annabelle‛s innocence, find Annabelle and catch the killer. All in all it is just another day for this detecting writing specialist.

WRITTEN IN BLOOD is the second book to feature Claudia Rose. While this story relied a lot on clichés and was tedious at times, the idea of a forensic handwriting specialist was interesting. The method and manner Claudia uses in her job is informative and helps compensate for some of the books other faults. As well, WRITTEN IN BLOOD is better written than the first book in the series. If Lowe continues to improve at this rate, the third book will also have some weaknesses, but the fourth should be worth looking for.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, October 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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