by Marie Force
Series: Fatal series, Book 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by Carina Press, 2010
Synopsis: Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career–and her confidence–after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O’Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O’Connor’s friend and chief of staff…and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness is another mistake she can’t afford–especially when the bodies keep piling up.
It struck Sam that death was the great equalizer. We arrive with nothing, we leave with nothing, and in death what we’ve accomplished–or not accomplished–doesn’t matter. Senator or bricklayer, millionaire or welfare mother, they all looked more or less the same laid out on the medical examiner’s table.
What worked for me:
- I like the Washington, DC setting.
- This was a quick book to read and I like the first third of the book where there was more focus on the mystery.
- I like the characters in the book–especially Sam, Nick and Sam’s dad.
What didn’t work:
- I was expecting a mystery novel (perhaps my fault for not reading more about the book) instead of romantic suspense. I used to read quite a bit of romantic suspense, but haven’t for several years. It always seems the suspense or the romance suffers. In this case, the suspense and mystery suffered.
- The above quote isn’t really true. Death may equalize things to a degree, but how we live our lives does show up on the medical examiner’s table. Did the person have enough to eat? Was he a drug addict? A senator who still gets special treatment even in death?
- The last third of the book has lots of explicit love scenes…that just seems out-of-place for the setting and murder mystery.
- Nick and Sam fall into bed much too quickly…they had a one night stand six years ago and suddenly they’re in love.
- Sam does lots of things which I think would have gotten her into a lot of trouble with internal affairs in a police department.
- Sam wouldn’t have been allowed to interrogate her ex-husband. It would have tainted the case.
- Everything wrapped up much too neatly.
I like relationships between characters in a mystery series, but not at the expense of the mystery. I wanted a police procedural mystery so I’m disappointed this was much more romance than mystery. Since Sam was a personal friend of the Chief of Police as well as a detective working for him there should have been more distance in their professional relationship. Both should have bent over backward to keep the relationships professional.
Have you read this book? What do you think about it?
I’m participating in the 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog. I’m also participating in the Book Bingo Challenge.