Book Review: Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Book Synopsis as provided by Bethany House:

A brutal murder.
An unraveling conviction.
To catch the killer, Roland March must decipher the

It’s Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman’s brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison ten years ago. Is it a copycat—or did March convict the wrong man?

Alienated from his colleagues, and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives a series of taunting messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home. Up against an unfathomable evil, March struggles against the clock to understand the hidden message in the pattern of wounds.


With a wholly believable plot, crisp writing, and a conclusion that both resolves and leaves you wanting more, Bertrand's second novel in the Roland March Mystery series is an astonishing read. If I wasn't convinced by Bertrand's first book in the series, I couldn't help but be convinced now - he is a fantastic author who has created a character that I would gladly see starring in many future works. Despite Roland's insular focus on his homicide cases at the neglect of all else in his life, despite his workaholic flaws, you can't help but really like the guy. If there was an unsolved murder in my life, I'd want Roland on the case! I have also enjoyed how Bertrand has handled Roland's journey towards faith, which is being slowly, realistically drawn out, like a blind man groping for the light.

I should note that there are some gruesome scenes that may turn some readers off,  but those who enjoy criminal thrillers will absolutely devour this smart page-turner. I simply loved this book and highly recommend it, giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.