Rightful Owner by Hemmie Martin

Book cover Rightful Owner by Hemmie MartinRightful Owner by Hemmie Martin is an interesting, fast read. A preview of the first chapter is available here for free.

As you can read there, we are dealing with a closed club for a select few. They go through a routine to assume anonymity when they pick their pleasure partner for the evening. A club like this can only function if it is based on mutual trust and a strict adhering to rules.

It also demands a mind frame than isn’t set in everyone no matter how hard you try to adjust. So when April Whiting accompanies her husband Craig for the first time to the club you already sense that does not bode well.

Obviously, Craig has different ideas about marriage and life than April and you wonder how these two got together in the first place. You will ask yourself that too when you meet the other club members. The façade of a carefree marriage is exactly that. It is just a façade that hides the deepest grievances, emotional battles, sacrifices, and struggles. It is a surprise that this mix did not get to combustion earlier.

When April ends up dead, the story takes on an Agatha Christie formula. The killer has to be one of them. Sensing that, all members become irritated, frustrated, and their true colours start to show.

Dedicated to solve this murder are Lennox and Wednesday who both still battle their old fights. Wednesday’s mom isn’t getting better, her sister’s integrity still rattles, and Lennox still isn’t capable of making responsible choices. The difference with the earlier book is that we get more insight in him as a father. It made him more human to me.

The author does not spare us in this book as we discover the pain of lost children, the fragile student-faculty relationship, and the immense changes children are forced to endure when parents get a divorce.

A few points of critique:

  • The author used the name Alice instead of April on pages 65 and 177 of the PDF version I was given. I hope she wasn’t thinking about killing me while writing those scenes!
  • An avoidable mistake in forensics is made early in the book on page 14. No murder victim’s hands should ever be bagged in plastic. Paper bags allow for proper air drying of the victim’s hands to preserve DNA or other fluids left in the creases of the skin, underneath the finger nails, and between rings/bracelets and the victim’s skin.
  • An interesting but out of the blue twist concerns Scarlet and her choice of lifestyle. There were no previous hints for this event as discussed on page 85 but maybe I missed them.
  • Last, I wondered how Wednesday finally discovered the killer. I will try to discuss this without giving it away. Standard procedure in every murder investigation is that everyone involved is interviewed. All stories are checked, double checked, timelines are made, areas are canvassed, background checks are done, and sometimes police ask for DNA for early elimination if the pool of suspects is big. If all these checks were done in Martin’s story than the lead they needed should have popped up earlier in the story when the background checks were made especially since we find out at the end that contact was made before.

I received a free PDF version of this book through AuthorAmp in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading Rightful Owner and I look forward to the next book!