It may be a 4 star book, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for.
The book delivers on the thrills, the mystery, the twists and turns of the plot. The issues I had with the book could be plusses for someone else.
Tasia McFarland is a washed-up country-pop singer desperate for the break that will get her back atop the charts. She’s also the President’s ex. So when Tasia writes a song with politically charged lyrics, people take notice and her star begins to rise anew. In the spectacle-driven opener of her comeback tour, she flies down a zip line above her adoring fans, fake-firing a Colt .45 at the fireworks-filled stage. Tasia is riding high.
Until she’s killed by a bullet to the neck, in front of a shocked crowd of forty thousand.
When video and ballistics can’t prove the shot came from Tasia’s Colt .45, the police call in forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett to perform a psychological autopsy and help avert a political disaster. But as Jo sifts through the facts, she only finds more questions: Did Tasia kill herself in one last cry for attention? Were those lyrics the ranting of a paranoid woman losing her grip? Or warnings from a woman afraid and in danger? And most disturbing of all: Just what does Tasia’s death mean for a president—and in fact a nation—teetering on the brink of catastrophe?
The first problem is that this is the third book featuring Jo Beckett. There’s no confusion over events missed in the previous books– plot-wise, this novel stands alone. My issue was that I never had a chance to get to know Dr. Beckett. The character showed growth during the book, but I wasn’t invested enough to care. I think this might have been different if I’d read the previous two books.
The second problem is that this was a political thriller with layer after layer of conspiracy theory. These were woven together well (although there is one place where I felt the author tricked the reader), and made a thrilling, textured adventure that wasn’t quite my style.
The book was well written enough that I didn’t notice the writing– which is exactly how I like it!
I’ve put the first book in the series, The Dirty Secrets Club, on my list of books I’d like to read.
I received this book for review while touring Penguin Books, thanks to the Book Blogger Convention. Thank you to Dutton Books for the opportunity to read it on the plan on my way home.