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July 14, 2016


A case from the past sparks a nightmare for
Leah Teal
Michael Hiebert's
masterful new novel
of suspense.

An Alvin - Alabama Novel 
Book 4 
Sticks and Stones (An Alvin, Alabama Novel)
  • Series: An Alvin, Alabama Novel (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (June 28, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617737399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617737398
Fifteen years ago a serial killer tagged by the media as The Stickman spread terror throughout Alabama and became Alvin Police officer Joe Fowler's obsession. After six months and at least fifteen victims, Harry Stork was identified as the Stickman and Fowler shot him dead. The killings stopped. For a while.

Now, more bodies are turning up, each staked through the chest with a stick-figure drawing in the killer's signature style. Detective Leah Teal-Joe Fowler's daughter and Alvin's sole detective - receives a letter before each victim is found, just like her late father did. The only people who knew about the letters were the cops on the task force back then - and the killer himself. Did Joe shoot the wrong man, or was one of the detectives he handpicked involved all along?  As a single mother, Leah tries to balance an increasingly disturbing case and a new relationship with caring for her children - bright, perceptive Abe, and teenaged Caroline, who's in the first flush of young love. But with each menacing communication, each gruesome discovery, Leah realizes just how personal, and how devastating, the truth may be.

Weaving lyrical prose and emotional richness into a taut, gripping mystery, Michael Hiebert creates a fascinating novel of life, love and death in a small Southern town.

Michael Hiebert likes to write surprising stories that cross genres, and are often mysterious. He is a two-time winner of the prestigious Surrey International Writers' Conference Storyteller's Award and has been listed in The Best American Mystery Stories, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Michael lives in Canada with his family, a dog named Chloe, and enough books that it is no longer fun to move. Visit him at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @Hiebert_M. 


I see that this book is getting about a three star review.  It was rather lengthy, a little too descriptive and I wanted more from Leah.  She wasn't the strong female I wanted to see.   I  haven't read any of the other books in this series, so maybe I'm not comparing it to anything else.  We have murders that took place years ago by a serial killer, the Stickman,  15 dead in a period of six months.  Then killed by police officer Joe Fowler the killing spree stops.  But for how long?   
Whenever a body was found, a note was left by the Stickman.  This was for Fowler so he could find the bodies.  Strange.  Evidently the killer was very confident he wouldn't be found or he was wanting to be found. 
Now Joe's daughter, Leah is a detective.  A note is found, not for Joe, but for Leah.  Even though the murders stopped years ago, they have begun again.  More and more deaths, all done in the same way.  Is this someone thinking or wanting to be the Stickman, or is this the real Stickman from years ago?   I'm not sure if Leah was really a good detective, like a seasoned detective would be?  It was hard to relate to Leah.  I felt she was a little drifty.  The author went into quite a lot of detail in the book and it did bog the reader down a bit.  This causes the attention span to falter.  I think if the descriptions were shortened and the book was a little more to the point would have been better, at least for me.  
I did want to read the book all the way through because I wanted to know if the real serial killer Stickman was killed fifteen years before or if there is a new Stickman.
I intend to read the other books to see if perhaps I am missing something that might pull this book together a bit more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, Michael Hiebert and Night Owl Reviews in exchange for my unbiased and honest review.

I would give this book 3.5 STARS.

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