30 September 2011

Just finished reading...

The Perfect Suspect by Margaret Coel.*

Margaret Coel is well known for her Wind River mystery series (now numbering 15 titles), which take place on the real Wind River Reservation in central Wyoming, and feature sleuths Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley.

The Perfect Suspect, however, is part of a completely different series featuring journalist Catherine McLeod, which takes place in Denver.

The story begins with Denver police detective Ryan Beckman facing off with her lover, David Mathews. They've been having an affair, we learn, which David has broken off. Ryan has gone to his home to ask him to reconsider. He refuses, and Ryan shoots him.

We learn this in the first sentence of the book, so this is not a plot spoiler.

What Beckman doesn't realize until she's leaving Mathews' house is that she's been seen, though she doesn't know by whom. Meanwhile, Catherine McLeod gets an anonymous phone call at the newspaper office naming the detective as the killer.

Knowing the identity of the killer at the beginning of the book doesn't make this book any less suspenseful or enjoyable. The plot becomes an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse between journalist and detective.

Of course, since it's a Catherine McLeod mystery, we must assume that Catherine wins the game. But we don't know for sure until the end of the book if Catherine succeeds in proving that Beckman is the killer. Nor do we know whether or not Beckman gets away with her crime.

This gripping mystery keeps the reader guessing all the way through, and the answer is not revealed until the very end. Catherine is a wonderful character, and it's to be hoped that there will be more books about her!

*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.

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