Book Review: Pride and Predator by Sally Wright

Pride and Predator (Ben Reese Mystery)Pride and Predator by Sally S. Wright

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A worthy follow-up to Publish and Perish.  The story unfolds slowly and carefully as Ben Reese methodically goes through the clues to this whodunit. 

Dr. Reese is a complex character: generous to his friends, methodical in his work, thoughtful in his study, mourning the loss of his wife, and still suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (although they wouldn’t have called it that then).  He has traveled to Scotland to help a friend, Lord Alex, from war-time determine how to keep the Lord Alex’s family’s grand house afloat – are there things that can be sold? As an archivist he knows the worth of many objects within the house.

Immediately before he arrives, Alex’s best friend from childhood, Jon, dies under suspicious circumstances.  There’s a picnic basket without fingerprints but with bees, to which Jon is deathly allergic.  Who could have given this to Pastor Jon, war-hero and all around good guy.

It seems Pastor Jon has a number of folk who could hold a grudge against him, but the motives are weak and the timing doesn’t work.  Who could have done this thing? And can Ben keep him from acting again?

Each of the suspects has a motive that is bound up in pride, pride of work, pride of love, pride of family, pride of self.  Pride leads to murder as it has since the beginning – oh, not always, but when we get so wrapped up in ourselves, others must be gotten out of the way.  That is precisely what happened here, and it’s a well done tale.

Because the story is set in Scotland, there’s a little brogue. Generally, I hate written brogue.  I find it distracting and I have to translate in my head but I didn’t mind it this time.  Perhaps because I have an aunt from Scotland.

I did find that the end of the book was a little too obvious with pulling the themes together for the reader, but it was a conversation that had to happen.

Now I can read Book 3 which I got for Christmas 🙂

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