Form: e-book, pdf format
Genre: Detective story, crime mystery
Target audience: adults
Lauren Stillwell, a homicide detective from New York, is happily married to a handsome finance advisor, Paul. One day she decides to surprise her husband, visiting him at work during lunchtime. She sees Paul going out with an unknown, tall, slim blonde. They enter a posh St Regis hotel and Lauren is left rethinking her marriage and her life from quite a new perspective – that of a cheated, ageing wife. She comes to some fateful conclusions. One of them is that Paul has stopped caring about her some time ago and she, being very busy, hardly noticed. The second one is that she needs some mood-boosting entertainment. Like a quickie or rather a one-night stand.
The same evening Lauren pretends she has missed her plane and invites a handsome bike-riding colleague from other department, Scott Thayer, to have a late dinner with her. Scott, calling himself the most eligible bachelor on the whole NYPD, has been flirting with Lauren at work for some time now, apparently rather smitten by the older woman’s looks and not ashamed of showing his admiration. Although Lauren hesitates till the last possible moment, the evening ends up with them both going to bed at his friends’ flat. However, when Lauren’s husband appears outside, things get complicated. Lauren watches both men having a fight on the street and disappearing after a while in Paul’s Toyota.
Next day Scott’s battered body is found in a Bronx fountain. The whole NY homicide department is looking for the culprit and Lauren is made the main investigator. What cheer. For starters she finds out that ‘the most eligible bachelor’ was married and had three kids, one of them barely an infant. Then she finds his gun and his badge in her garden shed. Everything indicates that Paul knew about their flirt and killed Scott in a fit of righteous jealousy. Why doesn’t he want to admit it, lying to his wife through his teeth all the time?
Lauren feels very bad about her role and the whole situation, especially after visiting the young widow and witnessing her grief. She is so depressed that she thinks about telling the truth to her partner, exposing Paul and herself, ending her career in shame, perhaps even committing suicide. Then her investigation takes quite a turn – she finds a huge stash of banknotes hidden in Scott’s locker and a DVD glued underneath his desk at his house, labeled ‘insurance’ – it seems that Scott, the raising star of the Anti-Drug Task Force, had more than one secret to hide…Lauren takes another fateful decision – to stand by her husband and cover for him to the bitter end, no matter what. Will she succeed? Will she ever manage to talk to him about the whole event at all? Will the truth set her free in any sense?
What I liked:
Although at first glance this book might seem just another novel about cops and thugs I admit it was very well-executed. The pace of narration kept you waiting for more but the heroine and the readers were given some breathers from time to time. Overall it was very pleasant to read. Lauren was a great character – funny, stubborn and definitely kick-ass, although she didn’t wield any katana and never donned leather pants. She simply never lacked the backbone, even when she was utterly disgusted with herself.
I liked the most the fact that neither Lauren nor her hubby and coworkers were without flaws and the reality around them changed constantly, like in a kaleidoscope. It proves that you don’t need all the supernatural background to make a book riveting. The ending was satisfying although bitter-sweet and the amount of things Lauren discovered during her investigation I found really mind boggling. Not bad.
What I didn’t like:
Well, after reading such a book you will really think twice before trusting any man. Not exactly a cheerful or sensible conclusion but in my present state of mind one that, I admit, might save you a lot of trouble and pain. Some twists did seem a bit outlandish but overall I have no major complaints.
I don’t like the cover, though. It would be more appropriate for erotica stuff and I think is misleading a potential customer.
It is not a classic whodunit and not a classic cop novel either. I enjoyed it very much and I recommend it to fans of both genres and also those who would like to try something different