The story opens with a prologue in which a 71-year-old woman with a ne’er-do-well son whose wife has left him and who has come home to live with her is murdered. By the son, we wonder? We already know he had gambling debts and that his mother refused to give him any more of her money.
But we soon realise there is much more to it than that.
At first glance, what we have here is a fairly straight-forward murder mystery with the usual divorced and world-weary cop, Detective John Brophy, and an equally divorced but female PI (an ex-cop) who thinks he needs a woman in his life; and then there is Josh Kincaid, an investigative journalist (our hero) who is working on this murder and simultaneously on the claim that a certain Harrison Taylor had been framed years earlier for a murder which turns out to be connected to the murder we started with; finally there is Riley Ashcroft, an orphaned heiress done out of her inheritance, who is making the waves on behalf of her childhood friend, the convicted murderer Harrison Taylor.
That might seem like a spoiler but actually I am trying to help. The first few chapters are marred by too many changes of scene and character and viewpoint. So much so that I would probably have given up on it, except that when I agreed to review this book I promised to read the whole thing. And it is certainly true that once you get it all sorted out in your mind the story flows well.
It could, however, do with some serious editing. There are misspelt words – I am becoming inured to that with the great dumbing down going on all around us – but there are vocabulary errors that leave one wondering whether English is the author’s second language. (For example: “With his obvious exhalation, Ellis had decided …” Exhilaration, perhaps?) Why is it that writers whose English is not one hundred percent believe that their books do not need the attention of a competent editor? A professional must be a master of the medium he/she works in.