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Pattern of Wounds (A Roland March Mystery #2)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  555 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
For Detective Roland March, his latest case has become personal. March doesn't know the young female who was stabbed to death, but he thinks he recognizes the crime scene. Nearly ten years ago, March gained national fame as the subject of a true-crime book. But now this crime scene bears eerie similarities to that one. And whispers begin to emerge that March may have put t ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published July 2011 by Bethany House Publishers
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Tagged by Joseph M. ChironCompulsion by J.J.   JohnsonThe Master's Plan by Stephany TullisThree by Ted DekkerHouse by Frank E. Peretti
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 974)
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Apr 06, 2014 Eric_W rated it really liked it
Roland has a chip on his shoulder. Still devastated by the death of Jessica, his daughter, in an accident committed by a drunk driver, he has made a legal form of revenge his mission. If someone gets off, or fails to intervene when something bad is happening, March works out a way to discover some dirt or malfeasance for which they could be punished. His job suffers as a result. He’s also lost whatever faith he had. “ If the Almighty was gonna sit back and let it all happen, somebody had to step ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
This was an amazing piece of criminal suspense fiction. I had to read it a lot slower than most because not only am I looking for the clues behind the murders but also trying to solve the crime before the end. Forget it, I now see that I am not a police detective. This one had me guessing, re-guessing, second guessing and in the end, I got it wrong.

There are some unique aspects of serial killings in this book and the twists and turns make you feel like you have arrived at a location thinking you
Nike Chillemi
Feb 02, 2014 Nike Chillemi rated it it was amazing
I was so looking forward to getting my hands on J. Mark Bertrand’s PATTERN OF WOUNDS, the second in the Roland March series. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. It’s Christmas in Houston, TX, but don’t be fooled. This is not your typical jingle bells and deck the halls Christmas who dun it.

March is investigating a series of murders characterized by a certain pattern of knife wounds. The bodies of attractive women have been brutally stabbed and theatrically positioned. In addition, these current mur
May 25, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Author: J. Mark Bertrand
Publisher: Bethany House
July 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0638-2
Genre: Fiction / Suspense

Detective Roland March is on the case again. This time, it’s personal. Very personal. So much so, that I almost didn’t recognize him. The issues involved in the latest string of murders have touched him at the core of his very being, and he will never be the same man again.

This is not a book for the comfortable Christian who has it all figured out. Through his detectiv
Jul 21, 2012 Steve rated it it was amazing
It is rare that I read fiction written by Christians published by Christian publishers. But in the case of J Mark Bertrand I'm happy to make an exception. This is an excellent book - as good as any Michael Connelly.
Jul 31, 2012 Katie rated it liked it
First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

I had very mixed reactions with J. Mark Bertrand’s next installment to his March Roland series, Pattern of Wounds. There were parts I really liked and parts that I didn't like so much. The mystery was good with the usual twists and turns that surprised me.

Though will all that said, I’m really starting to seriously dislike Roland. He got on my nerves a LOT during Pattern of Wounds. He was just such a grump—and knew it! People would tell him all the time
Oct 10, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Roland March helped convict a man of murder, so when a similar murder takes place, Roland is determined to find out if he put away the right guy or if there is a copycat murderer. When the murderer begins sending Roland cryptic messages and even tries to hurt Charlotte, Roland's wife, the investigation becomes personal. Will Roland catch the murderer before there are more victims?

This is the first book I've read by J. Mark Bertrand, and I wasn't disappointed. The storyline is tightly written wit
James Korsmo
Dec 07, 2011 James Korsmo rated it it was amazing
Pattern of Wounds is the second "Roland March Mystery" from Bertrand. I haven't yet read the first, but my interest is certainly piqued. In this relatively classic who-done-it, a girl is found brutally murdered and grotesquely positioned near her landlord's swimming pool. The pursuit for the killer starts out routine enough, but quickly intertwines with one of March's earlier cases which is now being challenged on appeal, and is soon intertwined with a possible serial killer case connecting doze ...more
Bill Garrison
Oct 03, 2011 Bill Garrison rated it it was amazing
PATTERN OF WOUNDS, by J. Mark Bertrand, is one of the best Christian fiction novels I've read, and easily compares to Steven James for Christian fiction and Michael Connelly for police procedurals. Every page features a new twist in the plot, and in the end Bertrand delivers a complex murder mystery filled with characters that are full of depth and emotion.

Roland March, Houston Homicide Detective, is called to the murder scene of Simone Walker, a beautiful young woman murdered poolside at the ho
May 02, 2016 Nikki rated it liked it
This is book 2 of 3 of the Roland March Mystery Series and the first book I have read by this author. Starting out I didn't realize it was considered Christian fiction(not that there is anything wrong with that) which is not my usual. The story moves at a pretty good pace and keeps you guessing although about 3/4ths of the way through I was fairly sure of who the murderer was and was just waiting around to see how Bertrand was going to wrap the story up. I will say I didn't like the ending, it s ...more
Keanan Brand
Jul 07, 2016 Keanan Brand rated it it was amazing
I meant to spend the majority of my day writing, but ended up reading the rest of this book. Felt like a hedonist -- reading instead of working.

Solid, twisty, intelligent mystery novel, well-written, with developed characters and excellent dialogue. I had an initial suspicion regarding the killer, but almost as quickly as it came I dismissed it when Bertrand took the story in a different direction. Turns out, that first instinct was right. (No spoilers!)

On a side note, I couldn't find the preach
May 30, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing
To rate a book at five stars, there has to be some "wow" for me as the book ends. Yes, I have to enjoy it along the way but it has to leave me with that "wow"--whether there is an elation or a thoughtful pause to that "wow." As I said with book one in this series, the real draw for me is the writing..the descriptions, the emotions, the contemplation, the detail, the humanity, the characters.... Despite Roland's flaws, he is a compelling character. This series deals with gritty topics without bei ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Esther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2014 Candy rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on
"A brutal murder. An unraveling conviction. To catch the killer, Roland March must decipher the Pattern of Wounds."

It has snowed in Houston, TX which is unusual in itself. But on top of that, it is nearing Christmas and to put a damper on that, there has been a brutal murder. As detective Roland March takes on the case and begins to delve into the lives of anyone connected to the victim, stories don't match or they change. Everyone has a different take on the victim and their own opinion of wha
Dec 05, 2013 Jody rated it really liked it
Another solid story by Bertrand. I cannot help but to keep liking Roland Black even with all of his shortcomings. I enjoy a variety of genres and you may find me reading something over the top and unbelievable and likeing it just as well as something more subdued and real. This series is of the latter type. There are no unbelievable fight scenes with crazy cutting edge weaponry. There are only real people with real problems fighting real battles (physical and emotional). Sometimes they win and s ...more
Janet Sketchley
This book grabbed me on page one and kept me reading. Author J. Mark Bertrand has a tight, satisfying delivery and uses some strong visual imagery. And Detective Roland March is a complex character well worth spending a novel with.

March follows up on every angle of the murder investigation, but he also trusts his instincts. As the story progresses, theres a lot of getting it wrong before March finally gets it right. He blames others for allowing their biases to blind them to what he sees, but ev
Clockstein Lockstein
Jul 18, 2011 Clockstein Lockstein rated it it was amazing
Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand is the second book in the Roland March series about a disaffected Houston police detective. March has recovered some since the events of the previous book, Back on Murder. His marriage is back on track, although he's a bit worried about wife, Charlotte's newfound faith, and he's working murder cases again. This time it's a young woman found stabbed to death in a swimming pool that opens up March's old wounds. When this new murder appears to be connected to a ...more
Adam Graham
Dec 27, 2013 Adam Graham rated it it was amazing
The latest murder Houston homicide detective Roland March investigates seems awfully familiar. March believes that the killer staged the scene of a dead one in a pool based on pictures from the book on the first big murder he ever solved, the Kingwood Killings. While higher ups dismiss the idea, some people think there's a pattern to the book: that a serial killer was behind the latest killing, as well as several others, including March's signature case. Worst of all, the writer who lionized Mar ...more
Sep 23, 2011 Whitney rated it really liked it
My thoughts…
In all fairness I have to say that I have not read the first book in this series. I’m sure that there are some elements of the story that you would understand better if you read the first book first. Having said that, I enjoyed the book and didn’t feel like I didn’t know what was going on.
This book is what I would call edgy. If explicit details offend you, then move along to your next book. But, if you are looking for something that feels real and tells it like it is, then this is y
Trinity Rose
Sep 03, 2011 Trinity Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really admire Christian writers who write mystery/suspense. J. Mark Bertrand is one of the best. I love his Roland March series. His imagination is amazing. Where does he come up with all of these ideas?
Roland March is a guy that is very human and he makes mistakes and learns from his mistakes. He is just like a regular person. It seems like most of the police force is against him, but he always stays with his convictions and it works out in the end.
This was quite a grisly murder, but extrem
Sep 25, 2011 Kevintipple rated it really liked it
Friday, December 4th it snowed in Houston. That was yesterday and this is now on a Saturday night. While the rain falls on the city of Houston, a body lays half in and half out of the heated swimming pool behind a posh home. If you don’t look closely, it almost seems as if she is reaching for something on the pool deck.

The young woman is dead and the wounds across her back tell part of the story. Too perfect, too neat, the stab wounds aren’t what killed 24 old Simon Walker. She had been a houseg
Douglas Cook
Nov 12, 2013 Douglas Cook rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries-police
This book gets points for its believable characterization of Roland March - a homicide detective with a troubled past. In this second book of the series, March slowly begins to come to terms with his problems by beginning to place his faith in God. The author pulls this off without being didactic or preachy.

First paragraphs
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 — 10: 49 P.M. A uniform named Nguyen is on the tape tonight. The flashing lights bounce off the reflective strips on his slicker. He cocks his head at my
Raine Lampert
Oct 24, 2011 Raine Lampert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Pattern of Wounds a great detective book. After being called to a scene of a woman that is murdered March has a rough road ahead of him. He realizes that the scene looks very familiar, it is staged to look like a case he had previously worked on. The case takes many twists and turns as March tries to find out what really happened to this woman. In the course of working the case he finds out who his friends are, who he can trust, plus goes through some challenging times in his marriage. H ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it
I like Christian love stories, but when it comes to suspense/thrillers, I get my fill from Lee Child, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, and, yes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I just haven’t found a Christian author who can deliver in that department. J. Mark Bertrand may just be the exception.

Pattern of Wounds is gritty and dark. The writing is masterful; Bertrand has created a noir world that is completely absorbing.

The main character, Roland March, is the kind of wounded anti-hero that’s got you rooting
Laverne Ombadykow
Jun 04, 2012 Laverne Ombadykow rated it really liked it
I haven't read the first book in this Roland March series, but it wasn't a hindrance to my either understanding or enjoying this book.

I felt that the main character, Roland, could use some work on his personality, but maybe that will happen as more books are added to the series (and it is probably an honest portrait of a real person).

Other than that, the book held my interest and kept me thinking of possible guilty people. Mysteries are my favorite genre and this book is right up there among t
Maureen Timerman
Sep 05, 2011 Maureen Timerman rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-read
The book begins with Detective March being called away from his wife's Christmas Party. A woman has been sadistically murdered, and the more he looks at the scene, the more he feels like he has been here before. Then he remembers, but the murderer has confessed and is prison. There has been a book written about the Fauk murder and included was a picture of the crime. This crime he is sure is staged to mimic!
This is the second book in this series, and I'll have to read the third to find out every
Yes! This is what I'm talking about. An outstanding Christian, real to life novel. Bertrand delivered with this one. I love the strong voice, witty humor, great mystery (unraveled perfectly), and true struggles with faith.

The murder specifics may be too graphic for some, but there's no sex, no foul language. Lots of good stuff.

Jan 31, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This is my second book by this author, who I had never even heard of before I got the first one in this series as a free download for Kindle. I'm not sure if this is his first series but I just really like the way he writes. It's not any kind of bestseller as far as I know but, as with the first book, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. There are no gimmicky cliffhangers at the end of every single chapter, he doesn't rotate around among the viewpoints of different characters, and there haven't b ...more
Oct 15, 2011 Janna rated it it was amazing
The return of Roland March is finally here! And it was worth the wait. This book is an excellent blend of fresh murders, a past case of Roland's and a serial killer. Roland March is smack dab in the middle of politics, mayhem, lies and betrayal and everyone is out for themselves. All Roland wants is to solve his case, keep his past case complete (and that murderer behind bars) and keep his nose clean (or not). But then his family is threatened and he starts to wonder if maybe the cases from past ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it
Really liked it. Good characters. Best character? The city of Houston. Good mystery made even better because one knows all the locations and streets mentioned in the book. Fun for me anyway.
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J. Mark Bertrand is the author of Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and Nothing to Hide, crime novels featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lived in the city for fifteen years. After one hurricane too many, he and his wife moved to South Dakota.
More about J. Mark Bertrand...

Other Books in the Series

A Roland March Mystery (3 books)
  • Back on Murder (A Roland March Mystery, #1)
  • Nothing to Hide (A Roland March Mystery, #3)

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