Review: The Body Reader (Detective Jude Fontaine, #1) by Anne Frasier



Thomas & Mercer | 2016

Filed Under: If a roller coaster was an onion.

I really liked this. It’s dark. It’s interesting. There are so many layers to the story, to the mystery. It’s never what you think it is.

I’ve never read anything by Anne Frasier before, though I do have a few of her books on my TBR. I will definitely be moving those books closer to the top of the pile.

Det. Jude Fontaine makes a daring escape after 3 years in captivity at the hands of a psychopath. She’s not herself anymore. She’s been subjected to unknown tortures and horrors. She sees everything in the world with new eyes, including herself.

Clawing her way back to some semblance of stable mental health, Jude goes back to work as a Homicide detective, while trying to find new ways to just be alive. (Sleeping on the roof, for instance.) Everything about Jude is switched off after her return. She has no sense of humour, she is flat and unemotional. She doesn’t know how to exist anymore. And this starting point requires that the plot elements, and secondary characters, have some A+ development.

Her trauma and recovery have to be believable, yet on pace with the rest of the book so you don’t feel bogged down with “personal issues”. I think Frasier pulled that off with flying colours.

Her partnership with Det. Ashby, as well as Jude’s undeniable strength and character development, are what really made this novel for me. I was engaged with the mystery, but not as much as I was with their interactions and Jude’s interaction with life itself. It was captivating and gripping.

At times, the plot felt a bit disconnected as I couldn’t see how the crimes were going to mesh together. It jumped around a bit too much, with the only thing tying the threads being Jude’s personal issues.

Are we investigating Jude’s abduction or the dead girl? Or the head in the helmet? Like what’s the deal with her father and brother?

The link between all of these could have been a little bit more visible; bread crumbs should have been a bit more obvious, so as not to lose the reader along the way.

In the end, all the plot threads were tied together, and I was left with a feeling of closure and satisfaction for where Jude’s character was left in her growth.

Also, the title makes me think of this for some reason???

Now you have to see it too!


For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning his every line, every movement, and every flicker of thought is what kept her alive.

After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice—and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead. Despite colleagues’ doubts about her mental state, she resumes her role at Homicide. Her new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, doesn’t trust her sanity, and he has a story of his own he’d rather keep hidden. But a killer is on the loose, murdering young women, so the detectives have no choice: they must work together to catch the madman before he strikes again. And no one knows madmen like Jude Fontaine.

Book source: Thomas & Mercer, via NetGalley, in exchange for a review.

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