Thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher, RGS Media, for offering me an ARC copy of this novel that I review voluntarily.
This is the second book in the Detective Kerry Blasco Series, but it can be read independently and although I haven’t read the first book in the series I could follow the story without difficulties.
The novel starts with a bang. The story is told in the first person and we share with the main character, Mari, the experience of waking up next to a body, with no memory of how she got there. She panics suffers an asthma attack and is unable to find her inhaler. She is losing consciousness… From that point on, her life is turned upside down; she becomes the main suspect in the murder of a man she’d never met before —a well-known photographer with a shady past, some dubious practices and more than a few enemies — and her estranged husband, a high-flying lawyer, comes back into her life.
The story is told from the point of view of Mari, but we also get accounts, in the first person, from other characters, most of them from Kerry Blasco, a female detective that sometimes can have strong intuitions, or so everybody says (that is not too evident in this case, as other characters tell us from the beginning that somebody is setting Mari up, and despite Kerry’s stubbornness and her insistence on Mari’s innocence, her reasoning appears logical and based on clues and evidence rather than any sixth sense). Kerry is a likeable character, a woman coping with a personal trauma, hard-working and empathetic, although we do not get to know her in depth in this novel alone. Her partner, in the police department and in life, Alex, seems to play devil’s advocate to her more sympathetic good cop, although is a good guy at heart. Despite the different points of view, the story is narrated from, each chapter is narrated in full by the same character and these changes are not confusing.
Mari, due partly to the effect of the drug somebody put in her drink, which causes her memory problems, to past difficulties with alcohol, and to the shock of her situation, is a character that appears confused and who often acts on impulse rather than using her common sense. She functions as a conduit for the reader and it’s a good device as, like her, we don’t know either what happened and get to suspect everybody and live first hand her anguish and doubts.
There’s plenty of intrigues, the action moves at a good pace, and we have many detectives (not only the official ones, but also Mari and Jay, the man who rescues her at the beginning of the book), a number of suspects, and quite a few red herrings, twists and turns. You might or might not guess who the guilty party is, but there are many curve balls and the mystery is well constructed.
An enjoyable and dynamic read, with some violence (but not extreme) and no explicit sex scenes or long descriptions, it’s high on entertainment value and will keep you guessing.