Monday, June 09, 2008

Beneath a Buried House by Bob Avey

People go missing. Llewellyn knew that as well as anyone but when a whole family fell victim to such a fate, that tended to get his attention. [pg 7]

Beneath a Buried House
by Bob Avey
Deadly Niche Press, 2008
Crime Fiction (M); 226 pgs

Bob Avey’s mystery novel, Beneath a Buried House, was the perfect choice for a lazy Sunday--murder, blackmail, a touch of romance and enough twists and turns to keep this reader on her toes. This is the second book in the author’s series featuring Tulsa, Oklahoma Homicide Detective Kenny Elliot.

Detective Elliot lands a case after the body of an unidentified man is discovered in an apartment. If appearances are to be believed, the death is most likely a drug overdose; however, Detective Elliot believes otherwise. The scene is a little too perfect and the victim seems out of place with his surroundings. The carvings in the wooden table, an observant neighbor, and a mysterious man leaving the building when the police arrive offer promising leads.

The stakes are raised, however, when the body of a prostitute is discovered that looks like the woman last seen with the murder victim. A search of her home provides a possible motive for her murder, but how does it tie in to the other murder or is it completely unconnected? With only days left to solve the crimes before his captain puts him on another case, Detective Elliot must work quickly.

To complicate matters, Detective Elliot finds himself distracted during his investigation by a rather beautiful and mesmerizing woman. The intensity of their attraction to each other from the first moment is a bit too strong to be believable. Perhaps such a powerful reaction had more to do with the fact that it reminded him of a painful part of his past, involving lost love and regret.

Kenny Elliot is both intelligent and a gentleman, but he is not without his own vulnerabilities. He knows how to hold his ground when he or someone he loves is threatened. He is a man with good instincts when it comes to the job. He listens to his hunches, which at times almost seem to be like premonitions, and is often right on the mark. This earns him a bit of hazing from his superior and colleagues who repeatedly remind him that evidence and facts are needed to solve an investigation. That does not stop the detective from tracking down leads and collecting the evidence to back up his gut feelings.

Bob Avey takes on the subject of faith, touching on aspects of paganism as well as its relationship to Christianity in this novel. He does not fall into the trap of stigmatizing paganism, but rather makes a point of suggesting that it is the individual’s interpretation and twisting of the beliefs that can take faith, regardless of type, into a dark place.

I was immediately drawn into the story, finding it well written and compelling. The author takes the reader into some rather dark places without being overly graphic. Beneath a Buried House is one of those novels that keeps the reader turning the pages right up to the very end. If his first novel is as suspenseful and intriguing as this one, I definitely will be seeking it out. Originally published at Front Street Reviews.

Rating: * (Good)

Visit the author's website for more information him and his books.


  1. Mmmmm - I love this kind of book for those lazy Sundays. It sounds as if Avery has begun a series worth investigating!

  2. That is one crazy creepy cover! Eeek!

  3. I recently read a book were a whole family went missing out of the blue and it wasn’t until six years later someone find them. Kind of creepy if you ask me!

  4. This one sounds good, Wendy!
    The cover gives me an impression of a horror novel though. ;)

  5. Jenclair - Especially if there's a thunderstorm outside. :-)

    Andi - Isn't it? I thought so too.

    Jen - It is creepy!

    Melody - In the beginning, I wondered if that was where the book was going to take me (the horror genre), but it is definitely more of a thriller.

  6. Gotta ask. What held you back from giving it five stars?

  7. J. Kaye - A five star ratings is a coveted position and not one I give very lightly (I haven't given any yet this year).

    What held me back from rating this one higher than I did was the fact that I just didn't buy the instant attraction, especially as intense as it was, between the main character and his love interest. There are a couple of other little things that contributed to it but because I am not able to articulate them effectively, I didn't bring them up. And one in particular would have involved a huge spoiler.

    My ratings are very subjective and tend to be based on how I am feeling when I finish a book as well as what I think of a book overall. I tend to like most of what I read (I read what I like, what can I say?), hence my top heavy rating scale. I've got a link to my rating scale on my sidebar if you are curious.

  8. Your review plus the book cover got my attention. Looks like good stuff, this one, Wendy.

  9. I wanted to know what was wrong with book and without giving away the important stuff (lol) and you did that perfectly. :) I rank believability high on the importance scale…endings too.

    Thanks for the info! :-D

  10. OHH! This sounds like a good one! I am going to have to add it to that ever growing list of mine, lol!

  11. Alice - I enjoyed it. :-)

    J. Kaye - I know what you mean. You also reminded me that I need to be more straight forward sometimes with my criticism.

    April - Is your list as long as mine? haha


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