Author: Steven Arnett
Paperback: 213 pages
Publisher: Independently published (August 22, 2018)
Buy it here: Amazon
Source: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
It’s 1971 and a horrible murder has occurred near the town of Breda in West Michigan. A young woman, Jane Lucas, has been dragged into the woods and stabbed. The letters ZOSO from the Led Zeppelin album have been written in blood on her waist, which leads the police to think it might be a cult murder. Suspicion falls on the commune located on a farm near the town. The shock and horror townspeople feel after that murder, though, are nothing compared to the shock and horror people feel when another murder and then another murder of the same type occur. The Strange Curse of Breda is about those murders and how they are finally solved. As each murder occurs, the level of fear in Breda intensifies, to the point that the townsfolk either flee the town, arm themselves to the teeth, or fall into an almost catatonic state of fear. The county sheriff, the state police, and even the FBI are baffled. However, Jim Leiden, a young man who runs a small grocery in Breda, finds a clue that may link all the murders together: The hanging of a man named Obadiah Kurtz that occurred in 1889. Jim researches the story and finds that the victims are descendants of the people who were responsible for hanging Obadiah. After Jim’s discovery, he’s in a race against time to try to get the police to believe him and find the murderer before he can kill the only person in the whole world who really matters to him: His beautiful fiancée Julie Veere, who happens to be one of those direct descendants!
This was an interesting read. Early in the book, the reader finds out who the killer is but the book is more about the cat and mouse game that the killer is playing with the police and FBI. Will the killer get caught or will he get away with it?
I felt drawn into this book. The way the author writes, it is easy to picture what he is conveying in the story. I couldn’t help but get frustrated with the antagonist. His arrogance and reasoning left me wanting him captured and quickly.
“Then she heard a squeak that she felt certain was someone trying to pry the back door open! She felt like crying but for a moment longer, she just sat where she was.”
About the Author
Steven Arnett was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1951 and enjoys writing fiction and poetry. He has degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Maine. He currently lives in Johns Creek, Georgia, with his wife, Delphine, and daughter, Vivienne. His novels Winners and Losers and Death on Lake Michigan have both received 5-star reviews from the Readers Favorite Web site.