A Jo Oliver Thriller Series

Reviewed by: Ceil Carey, ECLA co-president and long time book discussion leader



Title: A Jo Oliver Thriller Series

Cleansed by death (A Jo Oliver Thriller Series, 1)
Shattered by death (A Jo Oliver Thriller Series, 2)
Anchored by death  (A Jo Oliver Thriller Series, 3)

Author: Catherine Finger

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: 4/5/16; 6/7/16; 5/21/17


Length: 200 pages; 238 pages; 240 pages


In Cleansed by Death, Police chief Jo Oliver is tracking a serial killer, one who has her in his sites. The Mentor Sister Serial Killer always first takes a young girl in anticipation of an adult woman in her life. The child is not fatally harmed but brings the adult to his door, an adult he does unspeakable things to before taking her life.

Jo has desperately wanted to adopt Samantha but her cruel and abusive husband would not allow it. Now on the brink of divorce from Del, she is determined to make that adoption a realization. But can she save Sam from the kidnapping that is intended to bring about her own death.

Jo has mentors herself in this book who gently lead her to Christ, a decision she makes before the book’s ending.  She does have a friend named Nick with whom there is a definite attraction and sexual tension. Although they do not act on this and Jo gives as her reason the fact that she is still married, some readers may feel this is out of place in Christian fiction.

The second book in the series is Shattered by death. On the brink of a very costly divorce and having once said she would be glad to see her ex husband and his girlfriend both dead, when Del and his paramour are found brutally murdered, Josie Oliver is the key suspect. One by one, her worst enemies are being killed. Who is behind this, who hates Oliver enough to want to make her a prime target?

Once again, Josie is concerned about Sam and how this will affect the adoption. Her newfound faith is present and active but her doubts abound, too.

Anchored by death takes Police Chief Oliver off to Wisconsin for some much-needed R & R where, of course, she once more becomes embroiled in a case, hoping to catch the Bow Tie Killer. Dealing with a psychopath is one thing but the long held romantic feelings for Nick Vitarello only add fuel to the fire of Oliver’s crazy life, searching for a serial killer and trying to either rein in her feelings or give in to her love for Nick.

And always, in the back of her mind is Samantha, the young girl she is determined to adopt and create a family with. Jo Oliver loves the Lord, rather newly found in her life, and His presence is felt throughout Anchored by death.


Rating (1 to 5)


Suggested Audience

Adult mystery readers

Christian Impact

A main theme is trusting in God and His trustworthiness

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About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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