26 July 2010

Just finished reading...

Final Approach and Dead Lift by Rachel Brady.*

Emily Locke's husband and daughter were killed in a boating accident four years before we meet her. Richard Cole, the detective who'd worked the case, now a private investigator, says she's the only person he knows who can help him with his current case which may involve sky-diving. She's reluctant to help him, as she's sure he botched her case and she's not an experienced investigator, but when she hears it concerns a missing child, she agrees.

She takes leave from her job in northern Ohio, and flies to Houston, where she is to infiltrate a local sky-diving club. She hasn't done any jumps since she lost her family, and although it's tough to begin again, she soon realizes how much she'd missed it.

Hearing that there will be a "boogie" (skydiving festival) that weekend, she signs up. Forgoing the early morning jump, she lends her gear to another woman, who is forced to use the cutaway chute when she discovers that someone has tampered with the main parachute.

Emily's history is revealed to the reader slowly throughout the course of the book, and we learn the truth about her husband and daughter and why she feels so compelled to help with the missing child case.

Sky-diving ignoramuses (such as I) will learn a lot from this book, while being totally immersed in a gripping and exciting story.

Reviewing Dead Lift, the sequel to Final Approach, does involve some spoilers, so please stop reading now if you wish to avoid any hints.


In Dead Lift, Emily has left her unpleasant job in Ohio and moved to Houston where she works as a part-time investigator for Richard Cole, with whom she's made peace, in order to forge a relationship with her daughter Annette, who was found as a result of the search investigation at Gulf Coast Skydiving.

Emily is living in a small apartment, and though she has primary custody of her daughter, she's trying to make the transition easier for Annette by allowing her frequent contact with the people who had adopted her.

She goes to visit a jailed client, and discovers that she and Richard have been hired by the attorney who defended her husband's murderer. As one would expect, this causes some friction between Emily and her employer, but she finds herself drawn to Claire Gaston, the client charged with the murder of a local plastic surgeon. Emily appears to have a true talent for detective work, as well as an incredible tenacity. She's a real hands-on investigator, which becomes dangerous at times, though she always manages to survive.

Like its prequel, Dead Lift is gripping and exciting, and will most likely be read in a single sitting.

Both books are highly recommended!

*Full disclosure: I received FA from the author, and and ARC of DL from the publisher, both for review purposed.

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