Monday, January 23, 2023

The Devil You Know by P J Tracy Book Review

About the Book:

Darkness is nothing new to LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, but in P.J. Tracy’s The Devil You Know, even she isn’t prepared for the scandalous deception of deadly proportions that shakes the very foundation of Hollywood and its untouchables…and leaves her entangled in its rotten core.

Los Angeles has many faces: the real LA where regular people live and work, the degenerate underbelly of any big city, and the rarefied world of wealth, power, and celebrity. LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan’s latest case plunges her into this insular realm of privilege, and gives her a glimpse of the decay behind the glitter.

Beloved actor Evan Hobbes is found in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide, a day after a fake video ruins his career. It’s not clear to Nolan if it’s an accident, a suicide, or a murder, and things get murkier as the investigation expands to his luminary friends and colleagues. Meanwhile, Hobbes’s agent is dealing with damage control, his psychotic boss, and a woman he’s scorned.

My Review:

This is a good police procedure mystery that delves into the murky world of Hollywood. The murder plot is complex with a number of suspects. Nolan is a suitable police investigator although her partner seems to be needed to keep her on task from time to time. This is the third novel featuring her and, while this one read relatively well on its own, it is apparent much of her current character is based on events in previous novels.

Tracy's writing style is quite poetic. She takes time working up to the focus of a scene. One I got used to that, I did like it. Some may think the prose a bit much for a murder mystery. There are many characters (and POVs) and some I felt were more distracting than essential. Sam is one. Perhaps he's from another novel and will have a more essential role in a future one.

I did like the novel and the dive into the dark world of Hollywood and its characters. I especially liked the surprising twist at the very end.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

P. J. Tracy
 is the pseudonym of Traci Lambrecht, bestselling and award winning author of the Monkeewrench series. Lambrecht and her mother, P. J., wrote eight novels together as P. J. Tracy before P. J. passed away in 2016. Lambrecht has since continued the Monkeewrench series solo. She spent most of her childhood painting and showing Arabian horses, and graduated with a Russian Studies major from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she also studied voice. She now lives outside Minneapolis. Photo credit: Pamels Stege

Minotaur Books, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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