The 1st novel in the
Laura Drummond Mystery series
Teenager Laura Drummond barely survived a brutal assault. Now, as a homicide detective, she faces a killer whose m.o. is eerily similar to the attack on her as a teenager. Now, she must face her past to catch a killer.
About the Book
Laura Drummond was brutally attacked and left for dead when she was just 14 years old. Now, twenty-four years later, she’s a homicide detective for the Columbus, Ohio, police department. Laura spends her days working her case files and her nights at a bar called Griff’s. Laura’s not only a cop, and she’s a badass. Tough as nails, a military veteran, a martial artist, a runner, but when it comes to relationships, she prefers casual sex to commitment, until she meets a beautiful real estate agent named Sharon who might just change everything.
Laura and Sharon's budding romance is interrupted when a young college co-ed is murdered, and the m.o. matches the assault Laura suffered as a teen. Shortly after that, a second victim is killed in the same way. It’s clear to Laura that there is a serial killer on the loose in Columbus. Laura has to use all of her skills to uncover the truth.
As Laura investigates, she finds almost incomprehensible connections to her past. Will she be able to confront what happened to her to catch a killer?
Conceptus is the first book in the Laura Drummond Mystery series with richly drawn characters and fast-paced action written by screenwriter/filmmaker Brian Herskowitz.
Praise for the novel
Brian Herskowitz has crafted a gem of a police procedural, gritty and fast-paced. As much an inward emotional journey as a crackerjack crime novel, Conceptus gifts us with Laura Drummond, a kick-ass homicide detective whose dogged pursuit of a serial killer uncovers the secrets behind her own long-buried trauma.
- Marshall Karp, New York Times #1 bestselling author
"... a page turner!" - Tim (verified purchase)
"...gripping read." - Patrick (verified purchase)
"A whodunit done right!" Robin C (Verified Purchase)
Praise for the screenplay
Awards for the Novel
Awards for the Screenplay
More Conceptus book reviews
"I am not usually a big fan of murder mysteries or stories about same sex relationships. But this book definitely held my attention from beginning to end. I thought I had the murderer figured out by the middle of the book. Was I wrong! This murder mystery is not like most and will leave you guessing right up to the end. And Laura’s romantic relationship is very well written and ties beautifully into the story. A great combination for an excellent book!"
"This is a tale that will have readers on the edge of their seats, brimming with unexpected twists and emotionally rich moments. The prose is dazzling and the author has the unique ability to plunge readers into the mindscapes of the characters. Laura Drummond is a multilayered and complex protagonist and her background defines her as one of those characters that readers root for — genuinely flawed and relatable. As the readers explore her inner world, they begin to identify a link between the present and her past. The author succeeds to build up the tension by exploring the rawest of Laura’s emotions and her past trauma unfolding before her. The novel is elegantly constructed, intelligent, and exhilarating — a perfect read for fans of crime fiction and thrillers. There is a puzzle to resolve, a killer to catch, and a past to reconcile with, and these elements are the components of a plot that keeps readers guessing all the way to the satisfying denouement. Conceptus is a suspenseful page-turner. "
"This is an un-put-downable mystery story, a page-turner with a heart and a hugely sympathetic character in the lead. I am crazy about Detective Laura Drummond and can’t wait to see where she and author Brian Herskowitz take us in the next book. Bravo!"
"Conceptus," the new mystery by Brian Herskowitz, introduces readers to Detective Laura Drummond, a homicide investigator with a tragic past. The horrific murder of a young co-ed has the detective’s long-suppressed past rearing up to stare her right in her face and make her question what really happened when she was a young, naïve 14-year-old. The author creates a complex, multilayered figure in Drummond (or “Law” as she often called), and as the story unfolds, we see how she became the person she is today. Supporting characters, in particular work partner Detective Tom Browning and potential love interest Sharon, round out the exciting story and smooth out some of Laura’s rough edges.
This complex female character is a damaged loner. She has kept herself from getting too involved with anyone up to this point in her life. Her best friend is her partner at work. She’s been keeping her past buried and living a very solitary existence since leaving her childhood home. There is a one-night-stand type of encounter in the story, but a wonderful love story is also developing. Laura’s reactions to Sharon and Sharon’s reactions to becoming involved with a homicide detective made for a fascinating subplot.
Reading what happened to Laura is not for the faint of heart; it is brutal. It kicks off a riveting plot that involves rape, abuse, bad parents, adoption, the Catholic Church, and kept me reading far into the night; it was that compelling a tale. As the police investigation proceeds, the plot twists and turns and takes the reader places they won’t see coming. I even appreciate that the setting is in Columbus, Ohio, and not L.A., Chicago, or New York City.
For me, "Conceptus" felt like a great beginning for a new mystery series, though there is no mention of a subsequent book. This may be very wishful thinking, but I hope to read more about Laura, Sharon, and Tom Browning. I recommend "Conceptus" to mystery readers looking for a harrowing and complex murder mystery story, those who enjoy a grittier police procedural, or LGBTQ+ main characters."