*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labelled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system? Probably not.
After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace.
When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved.
As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.
Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.
Facing a Twisted Judgment is a police procedural / legal / private investigator crime thriller. It is the second in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone book (as I did) with no issues at all.
The story is mainly told from the viewpoint of Dalia who has given up a legal career and promptly fallen into helping investigate an art theft which may potentially also be a murder. Dalia is efficient and curious, and makes a great centre character around which to run an investigative plot. Her personal life is peripherally involved too, but never takes centre stage as the focus remains tightly on the case (although not necessarily the part of the case that they are supposed to be focusing on!).
We also get intermittent chapters from the inner life of main suspect Alex Clarke, giving the reader insights into the case that the characters don’t have; which is especially interesting when all roads seem to be leading in the same direction. Yet even with this extra help, I still didn’t manage to figure out the solution before the reveal!
Personally I loved the team of Cillian, Jackson, Mary, Lee and Tyler. Their personal and professional dynamics are entertaining and I would happily read about anything this little group of experts investigated.
The reveal was my only minor disappointment, in that after an intricate and complex case, the shocking reveal seemed somewhat rushed and abrupt. I would have liked a more gradual climax to mesh with the pacing of the rest of the book. The final twist, however, left us on a cliffhanger leading on to the next book in the series, with promise of more Mary, which can only be a good thing!
Recommended for all crime fans looking for a new crime series with a Kinsey Millhone feel.
“I have contacted six museums and spoken with their people,” she smiled as if she had the plans for world peace at her fingertips. “I’m going to lend the paintings to the museums, so they can place them on exhibition. In doing this, the museum will be responsible for insurance and security. And, because of this, I can execute some type of legal loophole about the estate taxes that would hit me,” Samantha told me.
Had someone inverted my world? In what universe would someone do such a thing without talking to the person you were marrying in less than twenty-four hours.
I’d reached a crossroad. If I argued with her, she might want to rethink her plans to marry me and think we might not be compatible after all. Or I could wait, and once married, I could catch her in a vulnerable position and make her see things my way. Yes, that was the better plan.
“Well, that is very noble and something worth considering,” I said.
We were about to have another drink of champagne when we heard a pounding at the front door along with the simultaneous ringing of the bell. Then, the shouting began.
– K. J. McGillick, Facing a Twisted Judgment
Facing a Twisted Judgment is available on Amazon right now, and don’t forget that you can check out the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below) for more great reviews and content!