The Atonement Murders by Jenifer Ruff is a very highly recommended mystery/procedural and the seventh novel in the series featuring FBI Special Agent Victoria Heslin.When NBA player Jerome Smith is found murdered in Boston with the words "This Is Your Atonement" written in lipstick on the wall, FBI Special Agent Victoria Heslin is assigned to the case. But this was not the first murder. Two months before this in Charlotte Todd Eckstrom was found murdered with the same message written on the wall. The two men knew each other and were friends since high school, so it seems perhaps the murders were related to some event in their shared past. Then two sisters are murdered with the same message written on the wall but seemingly no connection to the first two.
The Atonement Murders is a well written mystery/procedural that intelligently follows the investigation and sets a fast pace that will hold your attention throughout. The narrative is mainly set in the present day following Victoria and the evidence uncovered, with some chapters set twelve years ago when Todd and Jerome were teens. There are also occasionally shorts excerpts from the killer's journal. The motivation and identity of the murderer is not clear until the end. All the clues and connections are logical and compelling in the investigation. There are no improbably twists.
I really enjoyed The Atonement Murders and as described, it truly is a standalone investigation which concludes at the end. This was my first book in the series and I enjoyed it so much that I now I need to read the previous books. Victoria Heslin is a wonderful, appealing, insightful character. She approaches her investigation with logic, intelligence, and care, plus she loves animals. It was really a pleasure being introduced to her.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Greyt Companion Press via NetGalley.