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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review - The Perfect Suspect

My dear neighbor Ken is back with another review of the latest novel from the accomplished Margaret Coel.  This book is not part of her Wind River Reservation series, but the second to feature journalist Catherine McLeod (after Blood Memory.)  Let's see what Ken thought of this book.

Author:  Margaret Coel 

Copyright:  September 2011; The Penguin Group; 293 pages

Sensuality:  Violence  

Mystery sub-genre:  Police Procedural

Main Character:  Catherine McLeod, intrepid reporter & Ryan Beckman, police detective  

Setting:  Modern day, Denver, CO

Obtained book through:  Publisher for an honest review

A killer body, a killer face, a killer mind, and a killer cop.  She kills her lover, the very popular David Mathews who was expected to win the Colorado governor’s race.  Was it accidental or accidentally-on-purpose?  Detective Ryan Beckman must hide her crime.  Then she catches the highest profile homicide case of the year as the lead investigator.  

Beckman knows she must use her twisted and cunning mind to devise the perfect cover-up.  Who gets the blame?  Of course, the one closest to the victim, the perfect suspect, the estranged wife.  She must do all she can to frame the wife, keep blame from herself, and pull off the perfect murder.  Beckman will use all means necessary to protect herself, including false leads, planting evidence, and killing anyone who gets in her way. 

Catherine McLeod is covering the story for the Journal, a major Denver newspaper.  Following leads and suspicions, including a call from an anonymous witness to the crime, McLeod risks her career and her life to bring the killer to justice. 

Blam!  First page!  We know the victim, and we know the killer.  Yet the mysteries and intrigue remain to be divulged.  Clever…verrry clever!  A whale of a tale of a story.  One of the best murder mysteries I have ever read.  

The thoughts, feelings, and actions of the characters are so definitive, believable, and logical (and sometimes demented).  The fears, worries, and concerns of Sydney, the estranged and framed wife, and Kim Gregory, the witness, are palpable.  

The deviousness by Ryan Beckman as she plots and acts on her plans to “solve the crime” while insulating herself from blame is most interesting.  Catherine McLeod is tenacious, personable, intelligent, compassionate, and a skilled investigative reporter.  We, the readers, are right there, on edge, wondering and watching as this story plays out.

The whole story is so well laid out with plenty of suspense, drama, and action.  A great read and one you can’t put down.  Margaret Coel has very well demonstrated why she is top-notch and one of the best writers.  It will be interesting to see what she can write next to top this book.  It would be a challenge…but then, she is the imaginative and prolific Margaret Coel.
 Now for a recipe that sounds amazing.

For the sweet potatoes:
2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
salt to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of allspice
pinch of cayenne
For the pistachio crust:
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (I used roasted, salted)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp melted butter

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