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Unfinished Business

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The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes. Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood. The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes. Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood. The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries that her sister and her new boyfriend won’t be able to make the drive from South Carolina. Then, a woman is found strangled in Ann’s neighborhood and everyone, including the police, assumes it’s the work of a copycat killer. However, when two more women are murdered in their homes, the police announce their conviction that the Westwood Strangler is responsible. When Ann hears the news, the sense of safety and security she’s worked so hard to recapture since her attack on Halloween night, shatters. If the intruder who died in her apartment wasn’t the Westwood Strangler, who is? And, who will be the next victim?


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The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes. Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood. The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes. Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood. The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries that her sister and her new boyfriend won’t be able to make the drive from South Carolina. Then, a woman is found strangled in Ann’s neighborhood and everyone, including the police, assumes it’s the work of a copycat killer. However, when two more women are murdered in their homes, the police announce their conviction that the Westwood Strangler is responsible. When Ann hears the news, the sense of safety and security she’s worked so hard to recapture since her attack on Halloween night, shatters. If the intruder who died in her apartment wasn’t the Westwood Strangler, who is? And, who will be the next victim?

53 review for Unfinished Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy Reade

    Ann Kern has enough on her plate with the holidays, her sister and her sister's new boyfriend visiting for Christmas, her job, and her young family--but things are about to get much more stressful. When two women in her neighborhood are found dead in the days leading up to Christmas, Ann begins to fear that the Westwood Strangler has a copycat on the loose. But is it a copycat? This is the second book in the Malone Mystery series, and it's every bit as good as the first one. I thoroughly enjoyed t Ann Kern has enough on her plate with the holidays, her sister and her sister's new boyfriend visiting for Christmas, her job, and her young family--but things are about to get much more stressful. When two women in her neighborhood are found dead in the days leading up to Christmas, Ann begins to fear that the Westwood Strangler has a copycat on the loose. But is it a copycat? This is the second book in the Malone Mystery series, and it's every bit as good as the first one. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and I must confess to thinking every character was a suspect at one point or another. Patricia Gligor is excellent at doling out backstory and clues in a way that provides almost every character with motive, means, and opportunity. But when you get to the end, you realize you should have seen it coming, which is the way the best mysteries are written. And what a treat to find out this book takes place at Christmas! I didn't realize it until I started reading it. But note, you can read this book at any time of year and find it a great read!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marja McGraw

    Unfinished Business by Patricia Gligor is a book you won’t want to miss. It’s the Christmas season, 2009, but Ann isn’t sure how much she’ll have to celebrate. The Westwood Strangler is back and life means little to him. Or is the killer a woman? The oddest part is that everyone thought the killer had died in October after attacking Ann. After a brief span, the bodies are piling up, and it’s definitely the work of the same monster. Ann starts receiving horrid phone calls again, just as she did th Unfinished Business by Patricia Gligor is a book you won’t want to miss. It’s the Christmas season, 2009, but Ann isn’t sure how much she’ll have to celebrate. The Westwood Strangler is back and life means little to him. Or is the killer a woman? The oddest part is that everyone thought the killer had died in October after attacking Ann. After a brief span, the bodies are piling up, and it’s definitely the work of the same monster. Ann starts receiving horrid phone calls again, just as she did the first time around. Her family and friends help her hold on to some semblance of normalcy, but will the killer come after her? The next victim could be anyone. The Westwood Strangler could be anyone. Ann has suspicions, but there are too many people who might fit the mold. Ms. Gligor has done an excellent job of creating a list of suspects, any one of which could be the real killer. I thoroughly enjoyed her character development and the growth each one individual in her story. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy mystery, suspense, and good characters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Frome

    Things that go Bump in the Night by Shelly Frome In Pat Gligor’s Unfinished Business, there’s the strange juxtaposition of a killer doing the will of God and Ann, his potential victim, creating an Angel Doll for a Christmas Eve production. Anyone would think that Ann would represent the killer’s ideal. Especially after you meet her loving little kids as they decorate the tree and all that follows. So how can this be? How can there be a note at the bottom of her closet that reads “For the wages of Things that go Bump in the Night by Shelly Frome In Pat Gligor’s Unfinished Business, there’s the strange juxtaposition of a killer doing the will of God and Ann, his potential victim, creating an Angel Doll for a Christmas Eve production. Anyone would think that Ann would represent the killer’s ideal. Especially after you meet her loving little kids as they decorate the tree and all that follows. So how can this be? How can there be a note at the bottom of her closet that reads “For the wages of sin is death”? Wasn’t that the last of three biblical quotes she’d received prior to an attack on a certain Halloween? Moreover, that serial killer is supposed to be dead. But Dad comes home, knows nothing of this and all seems all right in the world again. Except there may be a snow storm approaching Pat Gligor’s perfectly rendered Cincinnati. But not now. Not quite yet. Then more intrigue as, unbeknown to Ann, her sister and boy friend Sam have driven up a few days early but don’t want to impose and simply want to be alone. However, in no time in the dead of night, Sam and his truck are gone. We segue to a news flash that the body of a young woman has been found after the neighbors reported a strange truck parked in front of the victim’s house. Next, during ostensibly that same day, we find Ann at work at the costume shop picking up the phone only to hear the sound of heavy breathing and the words, “Bitch . . . harlot . . . whore!” A copycat killer? Where is Sam? Who is Sam? What is going on here? Surely by now the reader has no choice but to simply read on.

  4. 4 out of 5

    J.R.

    Just as she’s looking forward to Christmas and an anticipated visit by her sister Ann Kern discovers the serial killer who’d stalked her months earlier isn’t dead. Ann is shaken by the revelation because she’d been thriving on a sense of security instilled by the death of the intruder in her apartment everyone believed to be the Westwood Strangler. The first new victim is written off as the work of a copycat killer. But when two more women are murdered police conclude they were mistaken in their Just as she’s looking forward to Christmas and an anticipated visit by her sister Ann Kern discovers the serial killer who’d stalked her months earlier isn’t dead. Ann is shaken by the revelation because she’d been thriving on a sense of security instilled by the death of the intruder in her apartment everyone believed to be the Westwood Strangler. The first new victim is written off as the work of a copycat killer. But when two more women are murdered police conclude they were mistaken in their belief the Strangler was gone. As a blizzard closes in around the Cincinnati area, Ann is besieged once more with crank calls and threatening notes and virtually every man around her becomes a suspect. The murderer isn’t the only unfinished business in this novel. Patricia Gligor has provided a number of characters with secrets that need unraveling and add depth to her story. In this second in her Malone series, Gligor has crafted a group of memorable characters, a tense plot and a satisfying conclusion for all the various threads.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Cook

    "I Kept the Lights On" Unfinished Business by Patricia Gligor, reviewed by Sharon Love Cook As a "cozy" mystery writer--and reader--I tend to shy away from suspense/terror. You might say I've become sissified over the years. However . . . I do make exceptions, and Unfinished Business is one of those. While many suspense authors indulge in a shockfest of over the top violence, Gligor takes the time to build the suspense, psychological rather than gut-wrenching. Like a classic Hitchcock film, the f "I Kept the Lights On" Unfinished Business by Patricia Gligor, reviewed by Sharon Love Cook As a "cozy" mystery writer--and reader--I tend to shy away from suspense/terror. You might say I've become sissified over the years. However . . . I do make exceptions, and Unfinished Business is one of those. While many suspense authors indulge in a shockfest of over the top violence, Gligor takes the time to build the suspense, psychological rather than gut-wrenching. Like a classic Hitchcock film, the fear-turned-to terror mounts. All the while we empathize with the main character's plight. In the midst of this cozily familiar holiday--Christmas--something is very wrong. Despite my trepidation, I braved on, reading to the end because I had to know what happened to Ann. Although I kept the lights on that night, it was worth it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    This is Patricia Gligor's second Malone Mystery, and it takes off where the first left off. The villain dispatched in the first book turns out not to be THE VILLAIN, so the suspense ratchets up again. On a happy note, the family matters are much more stable now as everyone seems to be working hard to grow and to heal. Once again, the shadow of alcoholism falls over the book, but with AA and Alanon, our characters are starting to understand the far-reaching effects of their parents' and even gran This is Patricia Gligor's second Malone Mystery, and it takes off where the first left off. The villain dispatched in the first book turns out not to be THE VILLAIN, so the suspense ratchets up again. On a happy note, the family matters are much more stable now as everyone seems to be working hard to grow and to heal. Once again, the shadow of alcoholism falls over the book, but with AA and Alanon, our characters are starting to understand the far-reaching effects of their parents' and even grandparents' disease. Unfinished Business is a well though out balance between Suspense/Mystery and Character Analysis. Very well written, and, as an ex-Cincinnatian, I loved the references to places I've been.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marra Roscoe

    This is a well written novel. The plot twists and intrigue kept me turning the pages. I read a few pages every night and finished the last 94 pages all in one burst because I really, really, really wanted to see which of the characters turned out to be the strangler. Like I said, this book is well written. There are lots of fascinating characters. There is intrigue, back stories, love, thrills and murder. That said, there are a few reasons for 4 instead of 5 stars -- One, Patricia Gligor occasio This is a well written novel. The plot twists and intrigue kept me turning the pages. I read a few pages every night and finished the last 94 pages all in one burst because I really, really, really wanted to see which of the characters turned out to be the strangler. Like I said, this book is well written. There are lots of fascinating characters. There is intrigue, back stories, love, thrills and murder. That said, there are a few reasons for 4 instead of 5 stars -- One, Patricia Gligor occasionally starts telling the readers about the characters instead of allowing the readers to see them in action and draw their own conclusions. Two, none of the main characters did anything besides exist to catch the strangler. All of them thought about WHO it could be, they even whispered their thoughts to each other a couple of times, but no one acted on any of these thoughts. In fact, they seemed the antithesis to acting on these thoughts. Sort of -- oh, I wonder if the man my sister is dating who is sleeping under my roof in the same house as my children might be the strangler. Here are my reasons. Good night. Goes to bed without making sure children will be safe if man if really the strangler . . . . Three, if this was a movie, the dramatic scene went to person being strangled, dark shadow, cut to commercial, come back to the movie while the end credits are playing. I wanted more. :(

  8. 5 out of 5

    Byron Edgington

    Here we have a mystery/family/who-dunnit that puts us in snowy, wintry Cincinnati Ohio at Christmas time. Ann is preparing for her family to come visit from South Carolina. Amidst the festivities a woman is strangled in the neighborhood. Is it a copycat crime like the one that almost killed Ann at Halloween? But that killer is dead, no? If not..? Gligor does a good job establishing an initial plot that puts the narrative arc in place, gives us characters that have just the right balance of humani Here we have a mystery/family/who-dunnit that puts us in snowy, wintry Cincinnati Ohio at Christmas time. Ann is preparing for her family to come visit from South Carolina. Amidst the festivities a woman is strangled in the neighborhood. Is it a copycat crime like the one that almost killed Ann at Halloween? But that killer is dead, no? If not..? Gligor does a good job establishing an initial plot that puts the narrative arc in place, gives us characters that have just the right balance of humanity and mystery. The story moves along well, and except for a few glitches—the electric failing one evening, then magically popping back on with no anxiety in a wintertime house—things go forward well. The climax comes when the killer attempts to strangle Ann’s sister, but is thwarted, thus ending the story and the mystery. It was not the boyfriend; not the priest; not the alcoholic husband whose father abandoned him; not the albino dude who’s fallen in love; not the mom who may go to jail for ‘abusing a corpse.’ The killer is a fellow...well, I’ll let the reader decide. Suffice to say that he’s been hiding in plain sight. The reason for only 2 stars is this: I just didn’t care about these people. The writing is good, quite strong in fact, no major grammatical glitches, no typos, sentences hang together and the pacing is well done. But the human part of the story seemed as flat as new snow to me, their responses and emotional reactions just didn’t work. For example, when the attempted murder happens right outside the window, at holiday time, with two young kids just feet away, the reaction is almost non-existent, like that sort of things happens all the time. The inner dialogue is strained, as well. Characters tell each other what is already known in painful detail, instead of showing readers what the story line is. To the author’s credit, she does get the police procedures and religious references right, and the writing, as I say, is quite strong. But I found myself wishing to know who these people truly are, and feeling that the writer kept their secret from me. Byron Edgington, author of The Sky Behind Me: A Memoir of Flying & Life

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna Burke

    This is my third book in the series featuring Ann Kern--I read them out of order, but that wasn't a problem for me. Anyway, this is my favorite of the three books. I like the contrast between all the pleasantries of the Christmas season and an underlying thread of suspense. A strangler is on the loose in the Cincinnati area--the same one that attacked Ann Kern in Book 1. How is that possible since the culprit was killed? All of the backstory on characters is well done with just the right tension This is my third book in the series featuring Ann Kern--I read them out of order, but that wasn't a problem for me. Anyway, this is my favorite of the three books. I like the contrast between all the pleasantries of the Christmas season and an underlying thread of suspense. A strangler is on the loose in the Cincinnati area--the same one that attacked Ann Kern in Book 1. How is that possible since the culprit was killed? All of the backstory on characters is well done with just the right tension to make us suspect several of them as capable of murder, maybe. The best thing about that is, for the most part, they're ordinary people. They could be members of our own families or our neighbors and yet, in the context of growing paranoia, their quirks and flaws signal something sinister. I like Ann Kern, her family and friends [most of them]. The snowy winter in Cincinatti, references to Skyline chili, and spots in and around this city on the Ohio River were nostalgic for me as an ex-Ohioan. The bits of Amish culture were interesting too, since the state is home to many Amish communities. Lots to enjoy about this book. Whodunit? I'll never tell.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ellon

    I received this book as part of a Goodreads' first read giveway. I really enjoyed the story in this novel and how the character's progressed from the last novel. The whole mystery aspect of the book was somewhat lacking. It took two books to find out who the killer was and the reveal was somewhat blurted out in the last 5 pages. I expected a bit more from that. I was also a little disappointed that some passages were straight copy/paste from the first novel. It made sense to review some importan I received this book as part of a Goodreads' first read giveway. I really enjoyed the story in this novel and how the character's progressed from the last novel. The whole mystery aspect of the book was somewhat lacking. It took two books to find out who the killer was and the reveal was somewhat blurted out in the last 5 pages. I expected a bit more from that. I was also a little disappointed that some passages were straight copy/paste from the first novel. It made sense to review some important information from the first novel but I didn't like reading the exact same sentences. Overall,I liked reading about the characters and their personal issues/situations but the resolution did not meet my expectations.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Gulley

    An suspenseful mystery during a blizzard at Christmas.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jean Warren

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Palmer

  15. 5 out of 5

    LoRee Peery

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Gligor

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chantelle

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jan Robbins

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Meredith

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Chambers

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patti Wilson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Darren Mitton

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna M.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Winfield

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

  31. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  32. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  33. 4 out of 5

    Patricia (Pat)

  34. 4 out of 5

    Gerry

  35. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

  36. 4 out of 5

    Teracia

  37. 5 out of 5

    Violet

  38. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  39. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Gallagher

  40. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  41. 4 out of 5

    Susan Krich

  42. 5 out of 5

    Kay Butz

  43. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

  44. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  45. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  46. 4 out of 5

    Monica

  47. 4 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  48. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  49. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Bok

  50. 4 out of 5

    Charlee Roth

  51. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Mcghee

  52. 5 out of 5

    Cupcakencorset

  53. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

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