Friday, April 24, 2015

Pure Death (Book #1) by Liah Penn

Genre: Dystopian, Mystery 
Published: Dec. 23, 2014
Publisher: Etopia Press
Pages: 202
Source: Red Moon Book Tours
A murdered society debutante, her body sprinkled with 89 Costa Rican butterflies. A headless, gutted corpse washed up on shore with a beautiful, dead teenager. The case is anything but straightforward, and in an uncertain future, where resources are limited and the genetically defective are banished to a ghetto territory for Impures, Chief Detective Ina Stone and her partner, rookie detective Sam Fujimoto, must cross into Pure Territory to find a killer. An Impure herself, Ina must overcome her defect. And when her life is threatened, she must learn to rely on Sam, whose interest in her seems more than just professional.

Yet the Pures may have created a world in which even they don’t want to live anymore. Resources have become too scarce to hide, and a black market for medicine comes to light. When a third murder is discovered, Ina and Sam know there’s a connection. With too many suspects and not enough time, they must find that connection before the killer strikes again. I had been born Pure, just after the War, a perfect baby, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and parents who tested in the top one percent of the intelligence quotient. But I wasn’t perfect. When I was pulled from my mother’s womb my left hand was withered, damaged, and bent. Now, as I walked home, I pulled the defective hand out of my pocket and left it out. Just in case. IP Territory was a dangerous place to live.

The rain had stopped by the time I left the bar, so as I navigated the oily streets, my ears were alert for signs of trouble. It was nearly two o’clock in the morning. The mist hung in sheets and my hair was beaded with pearls of moisture like spider’s eggs on a black widow’s web. I could feel the damp and cold seeping into my bones. I recalled the glistening of body fluids under the decomposed body, oozing from the flesh as it fell like parchment from the sinewy muscle and bones.

I stopped in my tracks and thought. Was the ground under the body dry? No, it was wet. But not just from the body fluids. No blood. We saw that. But the dirt, not dry. Moist. Black, silty Mississippi river mud. Had the body been placed after it had started raining? Or had it washed up on shore? Was that what Melker meant when he said the person hadn’t died there? I felt the evidence bag in my pocket. I’d have to log it in on Monday.

I walked on, the street lamps casting an amber hue, burnishing the decaying buildings with its light. Oil on the streets weeped into puddles creating rainbows in the grime. The shiny pen-like object on the chain. Why wasn’t it dirty and oily? Or had it been washed clean by the rain before the body had been placed at the dump site? Was it even related?

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About the Author:

Liah Penn is an author and attorney who resides outside of New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband and two sons.  A former prosecutor, she has worked on an Indian reservation, on the Mexican border and as a small town lawyer.  She is hard at work on the second book in the Ina Stone and Sam Fujimoto mystery, “Pure Justice”.

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My Rating:
I received this book from Red Moon Book Tours for the book tour, all reviews and opinions are my own.  If you would like to check out the rest of the blog tour click here for the official schedule. 

This was an interesting take on what a world divided would be like. I would have loved to see more of the world and how it worked. It seems to me like there would be a lot more impures compared to pures, and then why wouldn't they rise up and do something about the injustice that is happening. I know most grow up knowing that their DNA is impure and what is best for the world is pure blood to only live on. It really brings home what our lives could have been like if parts of our history went another way.

I like how Sam and Ina work together to solve and figure out what is going on in their case. The romance was a nice slow build, not to rushed. I think other than Ina, Sam's father was my favorite side character. Though it was touch and go there for a moment. Ina is a strong character with many walls to hide behind because of her defect she doesn't want to be treated any different then the others so she hides it and works twice as hard to make up for it. Sam brings her out of her comfort zone and gets beyond some of those walls. She learns that it's not always about what is on the outside but what is on the inside that matters most.

The book was a little predictable, I figured out who the murderer most likely was in the first part of the book. Even though I knew that it didn't ruin my experience of the book at all. It was action packed and full of lies and deceit even from pures who are supposed to be perfect in basically every way. 

I am very excited to read the next book when it comes out to see if someone is going to do something. I mean there are pures that get kicked out of pure territory for one reason or another, that are still technically pure. Then there are people like Ina that do have pure blood just get disfigured through out life or from in the womb like Ina. I call that a pretty big injustice and don't think most will sit there and deal with it for long. Also after that cliff hanger I am excited to see what happens next. 

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  1. Pure Death won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in the Paranormal/Futuristic category!