Former federal prosecutor Leotta covers some familiar ground in her second legal thriller.
Anna Curtis, the plucky blonde lawyer in the government’s D.C. Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence Unit, surfaces for a second go-round with the capital city’s seamier side following the murder of a high-price escort, which implicates a congressman. This time, Anna teams up with her boyfriend, head of the homicide division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jack Bailey, who is a widower with an adorable 6-year-old named Olivia. Jack and Anna have been seeing one another on the sly for about six months and living together in his suburban home. When escort Caroline McBride takes the plunge off D.C. Congressman Lionel’s balcony at the Capitol, both Jack and Anna are called in. Jack requests Anna’s assistance and soon she, along with feisty and somewhat combative FBI agent Samantha Randazzo, is hot on the trail of the city’s top madam, who operates a high-priced and very hush-hush escort agency called Discretion. The agency caters to the city’s powerful and wealthy, and soon, both Anna and Sam discover that some members of the agency’s clientele might do anything to keep certain information about their activities from getting to the press. In addition to trying to solve Caroline’s murder, Anna and Jack have reached a crisis point in their relationship, and the two try to work through their issues without letting them affect the case or their professional relationship. Leotta’s writing has bumped up a notch since her first novel; this story’s well-plotted, and although the outcome isn’t nearly as surprising as it should be, it's much more believable. One drawback: The author describes in excruciating detail even the most minor characters, their wardrobes and the décor of the rooms they are in, which proves a major distraction from the action.
Better editing could have made this memorable, but even with Leotta’s tendency to provide character fashion reports on every page, this is worth the read.