Friday, March 22, 2013

A Matter of Trust by Lis Wiehl with April Henry


This is the first in what I hope will be a new series based on the experiences of Wiehl. The novel takes place in Seattle, where Wiehl lived and worked. The plot is loosely based on the real life murder of a federal prosecutor that remains unsolved today. The main character is Mia Quinn, a full-time legal professional and single mom, just like Lisa.

The novel begins as Mia is talking on the phone to her friend and colleague when she hears a shot. Her friend has been murdered. The DA asks her to head up the investigation.
Mia is hesitant. She lost her husband in a one car accident a few months ago. She has a teenage son who seems to be heading for trouble and a four year old daughter who has issues as well. Mia is torn, wanting to spend more time with her children but knowing she cannot risk her job. She has a pile of debt and needs the income.
Mia agrees to take on the investigation with the condition that she is allowed to continue her work on another case – the suicide of a teen suspected of being the victim of cyber-bullying. She will be working beside Seattle homicide detective Charlie Carlson. The two get off to a rocky start in the investigation and will have to learn to trust each other.

I really liked this mystery. The characters are developed well and the plot has enough twists and turns that it kept my interest to the very end. I found out about the legal aspects of cyber-bullying and learned about night terrors.
Two aspects of the novel were less than perfect, however. The ending was unsatisfactory in that the perfectly timed rescue was unrealistic. It was like reading one of those old westerns where the good guy is surrounded and the cavalry comes over the hill just in the nick of time.
The other disappointment was that this novel could have taken place in almost any city. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I love to read novels set in the area. I wish Wiehl and Henry had added more characteristics of the unique aspects of Seattle in their scene descriptions.
Nonetheless, a good mystery and I hope there are several more.

Lisa Wiehl is a prominent trial lawyer. She is currently legal analyst and reporter on the Fox news Channel and Bill O'Reilly's sparring partner in the weekly “Is it Legal?” segment on The O'Reilly Factor. She is also a Professor of Law at New York Law School. Her column “Lis on Law” appears weekly on FoxNews.com. Earlier in her career, Wiehl served as a Federal Prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office. Her career in Seattle included being an associate professor of law at the University of Washington School of Law and legal analyst for KIRO-TV. She earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland. She lives in New York. You can find out more about her and her books at www.liswiehlbooks.com/.

April Henry is the New York Times best-selling author of mysteries and thrillers. Her books have been short-listed for the Agatha Award, the Anthony Award, and the Oregon Book Award. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and daughter. You can find out more about her at www.aprilhenrymysteries.com.

Thomas Nelson Publishers, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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