As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 23 March 2017. ISBN: 978-1-474-60578-6 (HB)
A new case for retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn is a treat to be
anticipated with enthusiasm and impatience, especially if you're a woman of
certain age who enjoys books in which feisty contemporaries grow old with a
determined lack of grace.
Brigid Quinn has a
superabundance of that hard-to-define quality called attitude, which got her
into trouble in her days in the field, and is still getting her into situations
most retirees are happy to sidestep. Not for her the dog-walking and cookery
classes; she adores Carlo, the gentle, academically-minded husband of her
autumn years, but can't seem to settle to domesticity, even if her past life
would leave her alone, which it refuses to do.
In this, her third adventure,
Brigid travels a couple of thousand miles from the home she shares with Carlo
in Arizona, all the way to Florida where she grew up. Her father is in hospital,
her mother is behaving very strangely, and her much younger friend Laura has
left the FBI and has just five days to get a stay of execution for a man on
Death Row, whose innocence she plans ultimately to prove.
And in Brigid's life, nothing
is ever straightforward. Hospital visiting makes her jumpy and itchy, and
helping out with Laura's investigation comes as a welcome relief.
Brigid's sparky first-person
narration reveals a sharp, flawed, insecurities-and-all character whose
intelligence and perception haven't dulled a jot with the passing years. We see
the other characters and Florida's unique climate and terrain through her
vision, a tad biased by her sardonic eye but no less acutely drawn for that.
The unfolding plot throws up a few jolts and surprises, not least the final
twist; and we learn a lot more about Brigid herself and the background and
childhood that shaped her than the previous books in the series divulge.
We also learn a few
uncomfortable things about the process of law in parts of the USA. Hanging the
threat of lethal injection over a man's head for sixteen years may seem like a
form of torture – but is signing his death warrant for execution just five days
hence any less so?
Becky Masterman is on of
those skilled writers who makes the reader laugh, cry and think, all in the
space of a few pages; and Brigid Quinn is as real as a character in a book can
be. I'm already looking forward to the next in the series.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
who was an acquisitions editor for a press
specializing in medical textbooks for forensic examiners and law enforcement,
received her M.A. in creative writing from Florida Atlantic University. Her
debut thriller, Rage Against the Dying, was a finalist for the Edgar
Award for Best First Novel, the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime
Novel of 2013, as well as the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony awards. Becky
lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.