Target Audience: Young Adult
Characters: Bastian Mühlenberg, Marie Mühlenberg, Wernhart, Dr. Josef Hesemann, Father Johannes, Brother Ignatius, Huppertz Helpenstein, Oliver Bergmann, Klaus Gruber, Emily Richter, Anna Winterfeld, Dietrich Hellenbruch, Matthias Kronberg, Sebastian Kronberg/Brother Sebasianus, Jimmy Henders, Frederick Köppe
Synopsis: Year 1495: In the medieval city of Zons, head of the City Guard, Bastian Mühlenberg, wonders how a place so idyllic could produce yet another vicious serial killer. From the shocking state of each new victim’s body, Mühlenberg determines the latest madman’s weapon of choice is a golden sickle. The hunt for the killer leads him into an underground maze in search of a treasure chest that his old friend Father Johannes guards the keys to. Can Mühlenberg beat the next swing of the sickle?
Present day: The last time he worked a serial killer case, Zons detective Oliver Bergmann found assistance—and love—in the form of journalist Emily Richter. Together they had solved a fatal puzzle by scouring Bastian Mühlenberg’s centuries-old notes, but apparently there’s more than one murderous history buff in Zons. When Emily’s best friend becomes a target, they must find what escaped their careful eyes in the last investigation—before the current killer fulfills his ghastly plan.
Shrouded in mystery, The Reaper of Zons is a fast-paced, (somewhat) paranormal thriller with a lot of promise. The plot moves along at a steady clip, the characters are well-developed and the author’s penchant for detail is to her credit. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details and it would be her fondness for those details that ultimately lead to her downfall in this particular novel as, in her zeal for describing the gruesome events surrounding the deaths in the story, she completely abandoned the realm of possibility. Even so, Catherine Shepherd still manages to tell a gripping tale that transcends time and will keep her readers enthralled to the end. Beifall!
** This book was provided as an ARC in exchange for honest review.**