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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Cause of Death is book 1 of the Detective Annie Avants Crime Thriller series by Renee Benzaim. Kern County has become a hotbed of kidnap and torture, with all the victims being young Hispanic females. The torture is the same – black widow spiders. Detective Annie Avants is on the case with partner Tom Weston, a man whose life came to a halt when he lost his pregnant wife and started again when he met Annie. Deputy District Attorney Jesse Grayes thinks that Annie and Tom should get together, but that is not in the pipeline for either of them. Can they track down the serial killer before more young women die, and will Jesse finally win and force Tom and Annie together?
Cause of Death by Renee Benzaim is a pleasant read. The story itself was good, the plot was quite twisty and it does move at a reasonable pace. The characters are well developed and I did get to know who they were and what made them tick, a valuable insight given that this is the first book in a series. It does have an amount of suspense in it and the ending was good. It has all the markings of being a truly great story with a little bit of work and, dare I say it, a bit more colorful language – police conversations are never that clean! This is worth a read as the author does do a good job of developing the plot, allowing it to unfold naturally. Looking forward to reading the next one as I know from having read others that it will get better!