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Old 04-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #13029
ATDrake
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Posts: 6,156
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Roundworld
Device: Kindle 2 International & Sony PRS-T1
Now that I've got leisure time to coherently (hopefully!) comment on what I've been reading, it seems that I'm 16 new full-length books and about a dozen shorts/re-reads behind from the last time.

Anyway, the latest completed read was the late Barbara Parker's Suspicion of Innocence, a Florida-set murder mystery/legal thriller which was a freebie offering from re-publisher eReads during Read an E-Book Week, which I tried to see if I wanted to pick up the 7th in series which was a new release with the extra 15% during the Fictionwise 60% off coupon sale and would never be cheaper.

I ended up buying the lot of the 8 books in the series, which stars civil lawyer and prominent local Founding Family descendant Gail Connor who has a part-friendly, part-adversarial relationship with criminal lawyer and former kidnapped Cuban refugee Anthony Quintana, and in this first title is caught up in a family tragedy which rapidly becomes a murder mystery in which both of Our Heroes are potential suspects.

This nicely melded family tensions with the actual whodunnit case as Connor has to deal with the breakdown of one personal relationship with the discovery that the other relationship which she'd had with the deceased was not at all what she thought it was. Part of the mystery involves Connor not only discovering who murdered the victim, but who the victim actually was on a personal level and not who she'd complacently thought they'd been.

On the Quintana side, his own family drama interweaves with Connor's case in ways that at first seemed tangential, but turned out to be fairly important, though not in the way one might initially suspect.

I'm normally rather bad at these sleuthy things, but I was able to discern means/motivation for at least part of one potentially-unrelated subplot earlier than Connor did, and I did guess at who-really-dunnit for mostly the correct backstory reasons, but I wasn't sure if and how they could fit together in the end, which was something the author actually related quite well, even if the actual epilogue following the revelation seemed a bit pat.

Medium-high recommend. A bit overdramatically thriller-ish at points, and maybe a little fetishizing as regarding a particular personal attraction, but overall good character portrayals of complicated all-is-not-what-it-seems relationships and class/ethnicity tensions within the Miami community, a nicely laid out mystery plot which makes sense, as well as interesting depictions of how the criminal court/justice system seems to work in Florida.

Apparently this particular title was an Edgar Award nominee, and though it's got a few flaws, seems a rather promising start to the series, which, as I have mentioned, is available DRM-free via Fictionwise and will cost you ~ $3 with a good weekend discount coupon. (Don't read the blurb for #8, Suspicion of Rage, unless you want to be spoilered for a particular relationship outcome.)
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