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At First Light


At First Light

Barbara Nickless is the #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Sydney Rose Parnell crime novels.

AT FIRST LIGHT kicks off a new series for Nickless, who introduces readers to Dr. Evan Wilding, a brilliant forensic semiotician. Evan is an expert at studying signs --- systems of communication --- whether they be road signs, hand gestures or hieroglyphics. In this case, they are Viking Age runes, ancient symbols used by the Vikings to tell stories or give meaning to their existence.

[AT FIRST LIGHT has] believable characters, a strong plot line, twists and turns, and plenty of action..."

When a body is discovered on the banks of the Calumet River in Chicago, detective Addie Bisset is summoned to the scene. The corpse has not just been dumped on the ground; it has been situated in such a way as to suggest that there is more to the murder than meets the eye. The man is partially submerged in the river, and his body has been staked in place so the water can’t wash him away. Surrounding him are animal bones that have been carved with strange symbols. All these signs point to some kind of a ritualistic slaying.

Addie has no idea what this all means, so she consults Dr. Wilding for some guidance. Evan has a deep crush on Addie, but she considers him to be just a good friend. Besides, she is attracted to men of at least average stature; he happens to be a “little person.” Despite Addie’s inability to see him as anything more than a colleague, Evan is dedicated to his job. Together, they work to determine who the killer is, what the runes mean, and the motive for the crimes as more bodies are found.

Readers not only will be treated to a good story --- one with believable characters, a strong plot line, twists and turns, and plenty of action --- they also will learn a great deal about dwarfism, runes and the Viking culture.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on December 10, 2021

At First Light
by Barbara Nickless