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Review: ‘Death is a Great Disguiser’ …a Santa Cruz Murder Mystery by Linda S. Gunther

By Onkar Sharma

Linda S. Gunther’s investigative novel, Death is a Great Disguiser, intricately weaves a tapestry of suspense and mystery that keeps readers hooked from the first page to the last. Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gunther masterfully blends personal introspection with a gripping crime narrative, creating a compelling and immersive reading experience.

The novel follows the enigmatic protagonist, Brian McCallam, a former police officer, as he stumbles upon a chilling discovery during a rainy walk with his loyal dog, Mac. Gunther’s meticulous attention to detail immerses readers into Brian’s world, making his emotional turmoil palpable as he confronts his own demons while unraveling a web of secrets and intrigue.

Gunther’s writing is vivid and evocative, painting a vivid picture of the coastal setting and its atmospheric elements. The way she intertwines Brian’s personal reflections with the investigation adds depth to his character and engages readers on multiple levels. The mystery surrounding the Shakespearean quotes and the cryptic emails serves as a compelling thread that keeps readers guessing until the final reveal.

The cast of characters is richly developed, each contributing a layer to the intricate plot. Brian’s complex relationships, particularly with his daughter Astrid and his new acquaintance Savvy, add emotional depth to the story. Gunther skillfully delves into their psyches, exploring their fears, desires, and vulnerabilities.

“Death is a Great Disguiser” is a Hollywood-standard tale with a riveting blend of investigative storytelling, psychological depth, and atmospheric prose.


Onkar Sharma, a prolific author, editor of, book reviewer, and business technology journalist, has embarked on an extraordinary literary journey. His books, “Revenge Theory” and “Songs of Suicide,” captivate readers with gripping narratives and soul-stirring poetry.


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