Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Unknown Means” as Want to Read:
Unknown Means
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Unknown Means (Evelyn James #2)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
In Elizabeth Becka's latest highly suspenseful novel, forensic scientist Evelyn James returns to investigate a harrowing series of crimes--only to find that no one is safe. Evelyn James is a forensic specialist in the Cleveland Medical Examiner's office who's juggling a demanding workload, a teenage daughter from a failed marriage, and a homicide detective boyfriend. And s ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Unknown Means, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Unknown Means

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kristen
Sep 23, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another good installment for the Evelyn James forensic series-albeit the last one after Trace Evidence, before Elizabeth Becka became Lisa Black to write a new series still set in Cleveland. We're so wrapped up into Evelyn's life as a forensic scientist, a single mother of a teenage daughter, and a new love interest in her life, who wants to take it one step further. When she's on a case with many curvy twists and turns and a possible connection to her best friend's attack, it's almost t ...more
Jessica
May 22, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Becka's second published forensic novel has been receiving acclaimed reviews - recommending her work as better than those written by Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs. So it is unfortunate that she has been dropped by her publisher. Look for her future titles to be released under her new pen name "Lisa Black". I listened to "Unknown Means" and enjoyed listening to her detailed descriptions of the forensic process.
Jenna
Aug 28, 2013 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Evelyn James is a forensic specialist juggling being a mom, having a career, and dealing with her romantic life. She starts investigating a series of rape/murders, and has to find a way the cases connect, despite having almost no evidence to that effect.

The ending came rather more abruptly than I anticipated, somehow, but it was still a page-turner. I look forward to reading more of this author's work.
Jan
Dec 02, 2016 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very exciting! These are police procedures with the forensic steps added. The main characters, Evelyn (Trace Evidence scientist) and David (Homicide Detective) add a romantic twist to the plot's many crime twists. Three women are cruelly murdered in essentially locked rooms. Were they united any way? How did the murderer gain access to their apartments? With the author's professional training and experiences in Cleveland's morgue, it all rings true.
Stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary
Apr 08, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Evelyn James is a forensic specialist in the Cleveland Medical Examiner's office who's juggling a demanding workload, a teenage daughter from a failed marriage, and a homicide detective boyfriend. This time around she's called in to investigate what appears to be a locked-room mystery: A wealthy woman is murdered in the penthouse suite of a luxurious, high-security building. The building's intricate surveillance system didn't pick up anything, the entrance wasn't forced, and the victim's husband ...more
Jennifer
This is the second book in the Evelyn James series. Her love life is picking up with the homicide detective but he wants their relationship to be more permanent than she is ready for. Her daughter is being a typical teenager. Things at work really heat up when a woman is found dead inside her locked penthouse. Then a coworker is attacked at the same building and the detectives focus on the residents. Next a woman is found murdered in a penthouse across town and the police don't know who is respo ...more
Richard
Oct 14, 2008 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Becka lived in the Cleveland, Ohio area and was formerly with the coroner's office in Cleveland. Having lived in the Cleveland/Akron area all my life, her use of building and places having familiarty made the story seem much more real. Even those places/buildings which had their names changed were recognizable. This book is literally a page-turner, and kept me up a couple nights far longer than I should have been awake....just to see what would happen next. Each unexpected murder in the "ser ...more
Phillis
Oct 21, 2011 Phillis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author's first book was very good and this follow up book was just as good. Her Evelyn James character is a forensics specialist with the Cleveland ME's office. Because Becka herself is also a forensic specialist it shows in her writing. Becka's imagination is wonderful how she put the story out these and you the reader is following along knowing as much as Evelyn does and when she does. As the reader you're trying to put all the evidence together and come up with the murderer and why just ...more
Dawn Livingston
I'm not leaving a rating because I don't think it would be fair to. I got to about page 50 and decided to give up. Usually I give a book a few more pages to change my mind but I have tons of other books to read so...

The story didn't gel for me in the first 50 pages. The main character had potential but that's all, and the story didn't grab me. Maybe I'm just not in a mystery mood. Oh well, I'm on to the next book. Try this book regardless of my review though because you might actually like it.
Ruth
Dec 22, 2015 Ruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-modern
c2008. Hmmm - this was picked up from the library by my sister. The cover looked good, the bio looked good, the synopsis looked good, execution - not so good. Too much dialogue - stilted - not sure about the conclusion either. Just didn't enjoy! "It's the little things that tell on us, partner. Always. Like when we interview a suspect - he looks up at the ceiling every time he lies, or he taps his foot when we ask about the drugs. It's the things we don't even know we do." ? second novel syndrom ...more
Amy
May 20, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent entry in the Evelyn James series (set in Cleveland) -- I loved this book! It all starts when a woman is murdered in a high-class condo/penthouse. Did her lying cheating husband do it? Perhaps, but soon there are other murders committed using the same weapon. Do we have a serial killer and why is he or she doing this?

I have to admit that Elizabeth Becka keeps you guessing until the very end -- I was sure that the killer was somebody else!
Lee Ann
Aug 13, 2011 Lee Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is a good one, but if elevators freak you out like they do me, it'll give you fits! Go ahead and read it anyway. A murder of a young woman in a high rise has Evelyn investigating. Personal details of Evelyn's everyday life lend authenticity to the character and reveal just how important it is to draw a line between home and her disturbing work.

Also read her Theresa MacLean forensic thrillers under the name Lisa Black.
Evelyn
Mar 09, 2008 Evelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crime lab scientist Evelyn James investigates the murder of a wealthy woman from a locked, high-security condominium. Meanwhile, her private life is in turmoil because of the constant struggles with her teenage daughter and a faltering relationship with her detective partner.


Second in a series.
Evelyn James is a likeable, human character with problems like the rest of us.
The Cleveland setting makes it interesting.
Highly recommended.
Stephanie
Elizabeth Becka wants to be Patricia Cornwell when she grows up...or maybe Kathy Reichs...weird stuff in this one, as in a salt mine below Lake Erie? Who knew? :)

I didn't really care about the characters, but I suspect that was my fault, not EBs.

I might actually read the prequel -- maybe then I'd know the characters.
Lisa
Mar 22, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, although I found it to drag in parts (therefore 3 stars and not 4.) Overall, the descriptions of a forensic scientist's job duties were interesting---morbid but interesting. I liked her personal connection to the case--it made it more meaningful. The last couple of chapters were nail-biters....I liked the suspense the author built into it.
Terri
Mar 31, 2015 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Good story line. I didn't like the first book of the series, but did enjoy this one. Sometimes there's a bit much detail in the procedures (she's a CSI-type--Trace Evidence), but they sound true. Funny thing is, it's mentioned a couple times about how things are "not like the TV shows"...and what I hear on the CSI-type TV shows is things are "not like the books say".
Freda Witt
Jul 26, 2016 Freda Witt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Evelyn James is a forensic specialist but does more investigating than she does forensic work. Deals with her home life, her reluctance to commit. Good. Trying to decide if I want to read more of her books.
Malina Vasquez
Pretty good, but I wonder how the ME gets away with doing the Police Depts work by investigating the murder. The main character was hardly ever at her office doing her real job. David (the boyfriend) also pissed me off he came across as such a clingy, suffocating type, "Red Flag" run! Lol.
Ron
Jun 06, 2009 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Mediocre at (at best) mystery from a forensic scientists point of view. Very little depth to her characters, very predictable.
Rebecca
Jul 18, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Not quite as good as her first novel, but it keeps the reader's interest and is full of forensic facts. I admit I'm partial 'cos I've met her, but I think I would've like it even if I hadn't.
Sheila
May 12, 2015 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are 3 seemingly unrelated attacks on women and forensic specialist Evelyn is investigating. Very good story. I enjoyed the parts about salt mining below the great lakes in Cleveland as well.
Frank
Dec 28, 2011 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good police procedural. Like the characters and I am familiar with the setting, so that added something. Not as dark as Patricia Cornwall.
Beth
Jun 06, 2015 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, thriller
GREAT BOOK! Very Patricia Cornwall-ish but with a fresh spin. I'll definitely look for more by this author.
Sue
Sep 07, 2010 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad...interesting that it took place in Cleveland and they made references to different places in Ohio.
Cathy
Jul 14, 2016 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the last chapter was very exciting, wish there were more in the series but this is the end; the author now writes under Lisa Black with different series & stand alones
Joyce
May 11, 2008 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery Fans
A great forensic mystery that was well plotted, had interesting character development and good twists. I will read her other novels.
Donna
Jun 14, 2009 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, Pat M and Sandra G
Recommended to Donna by: Alice K in Kona
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This is a very good mystery. Forensic descriptions are not too graphic, which suits me just fine. The story moves along at a nice pace and keeps you guessing.
Pauline
Not a bad 2nd book in a what I thought was a series but it would appear that she hasn't written anymore. She has written another series though under the name Lisa Black which I will have a look at.
Jewells
Jewells rated it liked it
May 16, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rolling Thunder (John Ceepak Mystery, #6)
  • Trail Of Blood (Theresa MacLean #3)
  • The Silent Partner (Diagnosis Murder, #1)
  • Heart of a Killer
  • The Last Witness (Lou Mason Mystery #2)
  • On the Line (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #10)
  • Warning Signs (Angels of Mercy, #2)
  • Blind Sight
  • Shiny Water (Michael Stone, #1)
  • Holly and Homicide (A Domestic Bliss Mystery, #7)
  • Last Girl Dancing
  • No Mercy (Mercy Gunderson Mystery, #1)
  • A Penny for Your Thoughts (The Million Dollar Mysteries, #1)
33237
Aka Lisa Black

Elizabeth Becka Lansky is a forensic specialist working with the Cape Coral, Florida, police department. Formerly with the Coroner's Office in Cleveland, Ohio, she has lectured to students and officers, has testified as an expert witness, is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and is certified by the American Board of Criminalistics.

She spent five years of her life
...more
More about Elizabeth Becka...

Other Books in the Series

Evelyn James (2 books)
  • Trace Evidence

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »