the next installment in the Clare Ferguson/Russ Van Alstyne series. You need to read the others first! This is great and deals as much with the characters and their relationship,or lack thereof, as it does the mystery. I can't wait for the next one.
Great reading with good writing and lots of twists in the story line.
Great read!! Compelling story and characters made real by careful disclosure. Enjoyed all of this series.
A must-read for fans of this series.
This is part of the excellent series about Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and police chief Russ Van Alstyne. This time Russ is separated from his wife when mayhem occurs.
A good friend finds a body at the home of the Van Alstyne's...a brutal, defacing murderer appears to be roaming the upper New York state community. Russ grieves with guilt and remorse. He discovers that even his friends have betrayed him. Finding the murderer is the goal of the police department but the state believes they are "covering up" for their own and sends a ruthless investigator who looks at Russ as the murdered. Russ's job is to find who did it and why.
This fifth book in Spencer-Fleming's excellent series satisfies on so many levels. It raises some very thoughtful questions about relationships and morality in today's world while telling a story that's full of emotion and misdirection. The gossipmongers of small town Millers Kill are perfectly portrayed, and their interference raises the tension of this fast-paced tale.
As always, the two main characters continue to evolve. In All Mortal Flesh, Russ and Clare aren't quite as strong and capable as they've been in previous books. Clare seems almost frozen in despair, especially when the church hierarchy sends a deacon to oversee the behavior of their problem priest. Russ is almost brought to his knees by the death of his wife, numb with grief and regret, and reacting like a little boy when his mother arrives at the crime scene-- "short and squat and beautiful." Even Clare needs some of Margy Van Alstyne's quiet, no-nonsense strength, and when she soaks in the atmosphere of the older woman's kitchen, she realizes that it feels like her own grandmother's: "Like you had rounded all the bases and come home safe." Being able to see these two strong people when they're not at their best brings added depth to the story and to the series as a whole.
At times the plot seems a bit over-the-top and almost soap opera-ish, but I've grown so attached to these characters that I had no trouble suspending my disbelief. Spencer-Fleming employs some of the best misdirection to be found, and although one of the red herrings didn't throw me off the scent, I was annoyed that I did indeed inhale one of the oldest fish in the trade. Shame on me. Ah well, I'm going to chalk my mistake up to the fact that I was immersed in the story, and practically blind and deaf to the world around me. All Mortal Flesh ends in a heart-breaking cliffhanger that makes me want to pick up the next book and dive right in. In this series, the characters' lives mirror the real world. Everything is not wrapped up and tied with shiny bows. This fictional world is every bit as messy as our own lives, and Julia Spencer-Fleming has made me care deeply about what happens to Russ and Clare.
Not a big fan of this series but it's an okay read for something different
I always enjoy Julia Spencer-Fleming's Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne books. This one was as good as all the previous ones in the series, and had some super twists and surprises in it. An up-and-down roller-coaster.
I did not expect to like this book, but the ending was good. And the more I've thought about how the book ended, the more I like the book.
I have not liked the developing relationship between Clare and Russ throughout this series. Without giving away the ending, I'll only say that the book ended in such a way that I felt satisfied.