Saturday, August 17, 2019

Review - An Unsettled Grave

Title:   An Unsettled Grave
Author:  Bernard Schaffer
Series:  A Santero and Rein Thriller #2
Genre:   Mystery/Thriller
Publisher:  Kensington
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   288
Date of Publication:  July 30, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars 


In this brilliantly chilling follow-up to The Thief of All Light, veteran police officer Bernard Schaffer digs deep into the past--and the haunted psyches of the detectives who search for truth . . . at any cost.

"There's a thousand scavengers in these woods."

Before being promoted to detective, Carrie Santero was given a rare glimpse into the mind of a killer. Through her mentor, Jacob Rein--a seasoned manhunter whose gift for plumbing the depths of madness nearly drove him over the brink--she was able to help capture one of the most depraved serial killers in the country. Now, the discovery of a small human foot buried in the Pennsylvania woods will lead her to a decades-old cold case--and the darkest secrets of her mentor's youth.

"Nobody trusts an animal that tries to eat its own kind."

Thirty years ago, a young girl went missing. A police officer was murdered. Another committed suicide. The lives of everyone involved would never be the same. For three agonizing decades, Jacob Rein has yearned for the truth. But when Detective Carrie Santero begins digging up new evidence, she discovers some answers come with shattering consequences.


In this second book in this series by Bernard Schaffer, Carrie Santero is a full-fledged detective after solving an incredibly vile case. Carrie then worked with a former detective, Jacob Rein, who remains her mentor, even though he is highly disillusioned and really down on his luck.

The case Carrie is working on is a cold one. A foot was found, and it looks like it might belong to a young girl who went missing thirty years ago. At first Carrie approaches Jacob for help, and then realizes she must head to a small town. In so doing, Jacob's past is unearthed. Carrie learns all about a young boy, J.D. Rein, and discovers the connection the little girl lost so many years ago.

Carrie leaves no stone unturned, and reveals some disturbing and shattering evidence. Discovering a connection between Jacob and the formerly missing girl raised a lot of questions. However, Carrie showed remarkable integrity and ingenuity in solving this case.

Even though An Unsettled Grave is the second book in a series, it does remarkably well as a standalone. However, I did read the first book, The Thief of All Light, first as I wanted to become familiar with the primary characters. I generally read books in one sitting, including both of these, back-to-back. I was thoroughly entertained, even with the often gritty delivery as things played out.

I admire the writing style of Bernard Schaffer. His brilliance and honesty in the sometimes less-than-perfect police force shines. Another effective thing in this book was the determination showed by Carrie. I like how her character is written, and also how her past shaped her into the person she is now. I look forward to following this series in the future.

Many thanks to Kensington Publishing and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Bernard Schaffer is the author of the Santero and Rein Thriller Series from Kensington Publications. AN UNSETTLED GRAVE, the second in the series, is available now. 

Prior to that, Schaffer was a prolific independent author and publisher with works that included best-selling titles such as SUPERBIA, WAY OF THE WARRIOR, and more. 

In addition to writing, Schaffer is the father of two children and a full-time police detective in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA

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