Of course I hadn’t realised this was the second in a series when I requested it, but thankfully it didn’t really matter as author Jane Haseldine updates readers quickly on the backstory… though it probably means I don’t need to go back and read the first in the series (The Last Time She Saw Him) given I kinda know what happened. Or at least, what didn’t.
by Jane Haseldine
Series: A Julia Gooden Mystery #2
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
on March 28th 2017
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 149670407X, 9781496704078
Julia Gooden knows how to juggle different lives. A successful crime reporter, she covers the grittiest stories in the city while raising her two young boys in the suburbs. But beneath that accomplished facade is another Julia, still consumed by a tragedy that unfolded thirty years ago when her nine-year-old brother disappeared without a trace.
Julia's marriage, too, is a balancing act, as she tries to rekindle her relationship with her husband, Assistant District Attorney David Tanner, while maintaining professional boundaries.
David is about to bring Nick Rossi to trial for crimes that include drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and bribery. But the story becomes much more urgent when a courthouse bomb claims several victims--including the prosecution's key witness--and leaves David critically injured.
Though Julia is certain that Rossi orchestrated the attack, the case against him is collapsing, and his power and connections run high and wide. With the help of Detective Raymond Navarro of the Detroit PD, she starts following a trail of blackmail, payback, and political ambition, little imagining where it will lead. Julia has risked her career before, but this time innocent lives--including her children's--hang in the balance, and justice may come too late to save what truly matters...
The book opens just before the trial starts and Julia discovers the prosecution has a witness whose testimony will sound the death knell for Rossi. Of course their identity is a closely guarded secret given Rossi’s history and even though Julia’s in the midst of reuniting with her husband David (who’s leading the prosecution’s case) she struggles to get any clues as to their identity. It was interesting that Julia and David are so good at compartmentalising their lives and neither are tempted to share information with the other. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was actually that healthy… to have to worry about slipping up when talking about your work, with the person you love.
Anyhoo… Julia hopes to get some info from former sweetheart Navarro or his partner, but mostly fails on both accounts… and then of course it’s too late anyway.
Julia takes the bombing (in which David’s injured) as a personal affront and it seems the usually-inquisitive journalist is (even more) determined to bring Rossi to justice.
I liked Julia and enjoyed meeting her and her boys along with Navarro. We don’t spend as much time with David however, who’s sidelined for much of the book.
The Rossi case and the bombing is all a bit twisted – in more ways than one – and there are a few surprises. As I haven’t read the first book I may be less surprised than most, but I can imagine it would be a bit shocking otherwise. (And I’ll say no more for fear of offering spoilers!)
Haseldine sets a good pace and this is an easy read, although I did wonder why Julia didn’t call on some of the resources / sources she uses here earlier as part of her role reporting on the case. Perhaps the stakes weren’t high enough at that point?
The book ends on an interesting note and sets up a few changes so I’m interested to see where Haseldine takes the series in future installations.
Duplicity by Jane Haseldine was published by Kensington Books and available from 28 March 2017.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher from NetGally for review purposes.