Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Perfect Suspect by Margaret Coel

Don't pick up Margaret Coel's The Perfect Suspect expecting to find a Father John and Vicky Holden mystery set on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Denver is the second home of the Arapaho, and it's the home of Coel's other series character, investigative journalist Catherine McLeod. The other thing you don't want to do is pick this up expecting a traditional mystery. The Perfect Suspect is a suspense novel in which we know the murderer from the first page. But, Catherine McLeod needs to show the world who the killer is. Who would believe the investigating police detective killed a gubernatorial candidate?

Ryan Beckman killed David Mathews because the ambitous frontrunner in the race for governor wanted to end their affair. And, the police detective knew how to leave no traces, how to plant the evidence on Mathews' estranged wife, and how to uncover the few witnesses who might be able to link her romantically to the victim. She was so lucky to be assigned the high-profile case. She wasn't as lucky that an anonymous witness called Catherine McLeod, and the journalist believed the caller.

There are actually no spoilers in that summary. The Perfect Suspect pits two strong women against each other, one digging for truth while the other covers it up. The reader sees the inner workings of the murder case from three sides, two of them belonging to Ryan Beckman. Beckman is a killer, and the investigating detective who makes the case against someone else. Catherine McLeod suspects Beckman, and understands why the anonymous witness can't call the cops. Beckman is stacking the deck in her favor. McLeod, who was forced to kill a man to save herself, still has problems with that death. So, she can't understand the ruthless Beckman. "What kind of woman can shoot a man - and go on killing?" It's not in Catherine's nature to do that. But, it is in her nature to continue to fight for the truth while placing herself in danger. Catherine is the biggest threat to Beckman's story, something Ryan Beckman knows


The Perfect Suspect is a novel of deception. David Mathews wasn't the man he appeared to be. Beckman certainly isn't the good officer she appears to be. She's a ruthless killer, willing to eliminate anyone who can tie her to Mathews. Even Catherine McLeod is forced to deceive her police detective boyfriend as she investigates a fellow officer. And, The Perfect Suspect itself? It's not a mystery. It's an intriguing novel of suspense.

Margaret Coel's website is http://www.margaretcoel.com/

The Perfect Suspect by Margaret Coel. Berkley Prime Crime. ©2011. ISBN 9780425240480 (hardcover), 293p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The publicist sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.




13 comments:

Harvee/Book Dilettante said...

Glad you liked it! This one's on my desk waiting to be read!

Lesa said...

Had a hard time with it at first, Harvee because I really don't like to know who dunnit. But, that's why this is suspense not a mystery. I do really like Catherine McLeod, though, and I got into it when she became part of the story.

Patricia Stoltey said...

This book sounds really good. I've been a long time fan of Vicky and Father John mysteries, so I'll have to give Catherine a try.

Liz V. said...

Name was so familiar, sure I had read something of Catherine McLeod's, but don't recognize anything on her website. So, another new-to-me chalked up to you Lesa.

Lesa said...

Very different from the Father John/Vicky books, Patricia. Although Vicky does show up in the first book in the Catherine McLeod series.

Lesa said...

Margaret Coel isn't as well-known as she should be, in my opinion, Liz. Her books are well-written, and well-researched. Love the Father John/Vicky Holden series, in particular.

Kay said...

Oh, Lesa, I've been waiting to read this one! I really enjoyed the first Catherine McLeod book and have been hoping there would be another. There you go, adding to my 'want' list again ;-) Enjoyed your review!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kay! Aren't you glad there was a second book?

Tina said...

I've really enjoyed her other series so I'm really looking forward to this one. Thanks for reading it for us.

Lesa said...

I love the way you phrase that, Tina. "Thanks for reading it for us." My pleasure!

Karen C said...

Love suspense - sounds really good!

Lesa said...

Hope you enjoy it, Karen, if you get a chance to read it.

Anonymous said...

So wishing you had a Pinterest Pin available.