Review & Giveaway: The Perfect Suspect by Margaret Coel
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: September 6th 2011 by Berkley Hardcover
ISBN0425243486 (ISBN13: 9780425243480)
After a candidate for governor is murdered, and his estranged wife is arrested for first-degree homicide, journalist Catherine McLeod receives a call from an anonymous woman claiming she saw the real killer leave the scene of the crime but is afraid to confide in the police. To uncover the truth, Catherine must risk her career-and her life-to find the witness who can identify the candidate's murderer: Detective Ryan Beckman.
My thoughts: Catherine McLeod proved to be a very intrepid journalist. She wasn't just looking for sensational news stories but the truth. She also had a great deal of empathy for the victims. Detective Beckman was a loose cannon. She was insecure about her lowly beginnings yet proud of her police career as she saw it. She's a morally flawed individual though and her emotional makeup got the better of her good sense. The scary part of this made me see how easily someone in law enforcement could frame another person.
Although billed as a mystery, it has some of the characteristics of a police procedural and all the characteristics of the suspense format. In a procedural or suspense novel, unlike a traditional mystery, the reader knows the victim and the murderer right from the get-go. (One reason I included the publisher's synopsis) The ensuing plot is how the investigation proceeds and how or even if the killer gets caught and what tripped them up.
In a well written one, such as this, the reader is immersed in the mental and emotional cat-and-mouse game being played out between investigator(s) and killer. Coel approached this with the investigator being a civilian, so to speak. We, as readers, don't get too much insight into the actual investigation other than what part Detective Ryan plays in it. It's doubly interesting seeing that she is also the killer! However you want to define it, The Perfect Suspect is the perfect read.
I've never read Coel before but I am so glad I agreed to review this one. Wow, what a great story this turned out to be. Excellent plot, superbly paced and with in-depth characterizations. I really liked the way Coel lets the reader into the killer's head and then switches to the action. And non-stop action it is; a thrill ride all the way! I read it in two sittings and did not want to put it down. TBG liked it as much as I did. For more about the author, please visit her website. 4.5****
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was received from Berkley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Thanks to the generosity of Berkley, one lucky winner from the US can read this one too. Open to US only and the deadline to enter is September 17th at 5 PM (est). Please be sure to leave an e mail address in your comment. Bonus entries available for this contest are as follows:
+1 for posting on your facebook page with link to giveaway +2 for being a follower, old or new. Just remind me how you follow and under what name. +3 for blogging (sidebar is fine) or tweeting about the giveaway. Leave me a link, please.