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Inland Empire, Book #1

By Anne Frasier

ISBN# 9781542005623

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Reni Fisher, like many little girls, grew up idolizing her father.  She loved the time she got to spend with him playing their game, even when she started to bore of it.  However, she didn’t know how real the game was or what her father was really up to until the day he was arrested, for multiple murders.  And, she didn’t realize that she was the bait he used to trap his victims.

It’s been thirty years since Ben Fisher was arrested, and Reni has had no contact with him during that time.  She has done the best she could to try to move on with her life.  She is still overcome with guilt for the women that lost their lives due, in part, to her.  It led her to a career in the FBI and her never-ending search to find where Ben buried his victims. 

Ben has refused to reveal where his victims are during all this time, but now he has reached out to homicide detective Daniel Ellis.  He is ready to lead him to the graves, but only if Reni comes with them!  Now Reni must face her past to help the families to get the closure they so desperately need.  However, Daniel has secrets of his own and he’s hoping that Ben will finally put his long-time obsession to rest.  But neither Reni nor Daniel expects the curve-ball Ben has planned for them!

There is something about serials killer stories that pique my interest.  It doesn’t matter if it’s based on a real murderer or completely fictional, like this one.  And, this book in particular sends a chill down your spine with how Ben Fisher, the Inland Empire Killer, used his daughter to doom his victims.

I felt this novel started out strong.  It drew me in immediately.  I was horrified and strangely interested in Ben’s crimes.   And strangely enough, I felt the love he had for his daughter, despite how he used her.  I could see how his game would force his victims to play right into his hands.  What woman could resist helping a lost child?

However, after Ben’s outing to reveal his victims’ whereabouts, I found the book got a bit dull.  At that point, it was all about Reni, Daniel, Maurice, and Rosalind.  And, several points of the book were fairly predictable, but not everything was.  It does pick up slightly towards the end, but it never quite completely regained the interest I had at the beginning of the book.  And, honestly I was surprised with the final scene…. It seemed an odd way to end the story and felt a bit incomplete.

This is the first book in a new series, but honestly there was nothing about this novel that puts me in a rush to read the next installment.  It was an okay read, but not anything special.  I also don’t see what is left to happen in the series except for Daniel to finally get some closure.  I guess we’ll find out in due time!