Shelleyrae at Book'd Out's Reviews > Death By Beauty

Death By Beauty by Gabrielle Lord
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's review
Aug 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: arc-are, provided-by-publisher
Read on August 30, 2012 — I own a copy

It's been 5 years since the last Gemma Lincoln novel, I can only assume Gabrielle Lord has been too busy with her Conspiracy 365 series in the interim.

In terms of this series it has been about 18 months or so since the end of Shattered and Gemma is supposed to be easing back into her work as a private investigator after the birth of Raphael (Rafi). But Gemma's first client confesses she is terrified of her husband and believes he is planning to kill her, her best friend, Detective Sergeant Angie McDonald asks Gemma to speak with a woman who was drugged and attacked by a man pretending to be a vampire and she receives an excited call from a acquaintance, a journalist named Janet Chancy, who is on her way to Gemma's with big news but never shows up. Lord weaves a handful of seemingly unrelated cases into a narrative that centers around Sapphire Springs, an exclusive day spa, that has developed a cutting edge cosmetic surgery procedure.
To be honest the links between each case are fairly transparent early on in the novel though it takes a lot longer for Gemma to put the pieces together. Thankfully, there are elements of the plot that are unexpected which partially redeems the lack of subtlety and too convenient conspiracy. The concept of the story is interesting and the pace is good, though nearly 400 pages, it was a quick read for me.

While Gemma has a history of being feisty and impulsive, her behaviour in Death By Beauty is almost reckless and there were facets of Gemma's investigation that I did not see as credible. Her investigations are a little sloppy, such as when she connects with Tolmacheff by answering his online dating ad but does little to protect her real identity, as well as breaking into the cabin at Sapphire Springs without considering camera surveillance. Gemma also fails to take serious precautions even when she suspects someone has been watching her home and makes herself a target when she confronts her bitter enemy, Lorraine Litchfield.

Part of her careless behaviour can perhaps be blamed on her current state of emotional turmoil. Mike, Gemma's partner, is unhappy about her becoming caught up in so many investigations, especially when one of those cases links to Steve, her ex-lover and Rafi's biological father. Gemma can't let go of her connection to Steve which threatens not only her relationship with Mike, but also her life, and the life of her son. As Gemma assesses her feelings for Steve, she ignores Mike's proposal and his attempts to discuss their living arrangements. On top of which, Hugo turns up needing a place to stay placing further strain on Mike and Gemma's relationship.

I am glad that Gabrielle Lord has revisited Gemma Lincoln with Death By Beauty and the conclusion suggests that she still hasn't quite finished with the series and with the reprint of the entire series this month, I suggest those new to it start with the first book Feeding The Demons. Though not without flaws, Death By Beauty is a page turner and sure to be enjoyed by fans.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Denise Hi Shelleyrae, I heard the author interviewed on ABC radio this morning about the book. Sounds like a good one.

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out Denise wrote: "Hi Shelleyrae, I heard the author interviewed on ABC radio this morning about the book. Sounds like a good one."

It's great so far - I'm about half way through

Denise I look forward to your review.

Denise Thanks for your review. I enjoyed the last Gemma Lincoln novel, so it will be good to read the next installment.

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