Action-packed, fast-paced, and excitement-filled, Death is Potential by Bob Burnett was a delight to read. Set at the Satori Institute, a retreat and workshop center in California, the reader is introduced to businessman Tom Scott, Detective Laura Sanchez, and U.S. Marshal Kate Swift—all of whom play a crucial role in unraveling the mysterious murder of Satori founder Malcolm Eastwick.
Tom, a very successful business owner, has recently lost his beloved wife, Fiona. Upon the recommendation of his therapist, he traveled to Satori to attend their “Transitions” workshop. As the name suggests, this workshop helps guide participants through challenging transitions with group activities, counseling, and team bonding. It is upon arrival at this workshop that Tom is reintroduced to Kate Swift, a woman he previously dated. Despite their attraction to each other, the timing simply had not been right and their very casual romance fizzled out. But now, when the two meet again at a workshop meant to challenge all their prior ideologies, both Tom and Kate both can’t help but feel that this could lead to something more.
Alongside this potential blooming romance is the unfortunate murder of Malcolm Eastwick. Detective Laura Sanchez has been assigned to the case, working diligently with her partners to unravel why someone may have killed Satori’s founder. It does not take long to find out there is evidence of foul play, and even more quickly, she discovers that Malcolm was not well-liked. Among the list of his vices, Malcolm was a clear womanizer, an obvious fact told by the many that interacted with him. But with no explicit indication of why Malcom may have been murdered, Laura and her team begin to investigate the complicated trial of this celebrity founder.
To make matters more messy, mid-inquiry, a fire at a nearby state park blocks all the roads to Satori. Laura and her team find themselves unable to get back to the center grounds and make further investigations. So, being a U.S. Marshal, Kate becomes responsible for controlling the police investigations amid her passionate new partnership and two more dead bodies.
Overall, I enjoyed reading, Death is Potential. Burnett did an excellent job with the mystery narrative. I never once suspected who the killer was, and I was excited to keep reading for the ending. I liked the elements of suspense, crime, and the unique setting that this story took place in. However, I personally found the romance storyline was actually stronger than the mystery plot. A large portion of the plot was centered on Kate and Tom’s love affair, something I did not mind, but readers should be forewarned. Overall, I would recommend this book to all adult readers who like romance, mystery, and detective novels.