Unknown Means
by Elizabeth Becka


Hyperion, 2008. ISBN 978-1-401-30175-0.
Reviewed by Rhonda Esakov
Posted on 01/21/2008

Fiction: Mystery

The characters first introduced in Elizabeth Becka's Trace Evidence are back to entertain you in the fast-paced book, Unknown Means. The book lures you in from the first page with a descriptive scene of a posed corpse and carries you all the way through to a surprising, if violent finale.

As a divorced working mother with an intense career as a forensic specialist, Evelyn James finds herself involved in a challenging mystery. The Cleveland police detectives are baffled as the clues and the victims are piling up with no apparent connection, but Evelyn goes beyond her duties with the Medical Examiner's office to make some sense of the scant evidence found at the crime scenes. The plot heats up when the crimes turn personal and a friend from work is nearly killed. Now Evelyn must battle her fears as she fights to keep her demanding career, faces down her claustrophobia in another seemingly unrelated investigation, struggles with a stormy relationship, and faces the possibility that a killer may now have targeted her own teenaged daughter!

A forensic specialist in real life, Elizabeth Becka pulls you into a mystery that shows her expert knowledge and ability to create personable and believable characters that are easy to relate to. The way in which she shows a woman's personal turmoil while piecing together the puzzles makes for enjoyable reading. Mystery fans will appreciate the twists and turns that make this locked-room mystery a treat.


Elizabeth Becka is a forensic specialist formerly with the Coroner's Office of Cleveland, Ohio. When she is not lecturing to students and officers or testifying as an expert witness, she works as a latent print examiner for the police department in Cape Coral, FL, where she and her husband make their home. Becka is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists. For more information, check out her website.

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