Mason (Boundaries: A Love Story, 2013, etc.) offers an emotionally supercharged domestic thriller.
The story initially revolves around recently widowed Sacramento defense attorney Natalya Drummond and her struggles with an aggressive client on death row in San Quentin. Jared Hegner, who’s been convicted of rape and murder, has been threatening her and fellow attorney Rick Cropper; if they don’t get his conviction overturned soon, he tells them, there’s going to be trouble—he has friends “on the outside” who owe him a favor. Drummond is worried about the safety of her 21-month-old daughter, but Cropper doesn’t seem overly concerned. The threats escalate quickly as gruesome packages with threatening contents arrive at Drummond’s office, but her colleagues don’t take them seriously—until an intruder breaks into her house and rapes her. Later, she finds tracking down her assailant to be increasingly difficult due to myriad potential enemies working in her office (including more than a few misogynistic lawyers) and her own complicated relationship with Cropper. It soon comes to light that the attack may not even have been related to Hegner at all. Overall, this is a fluid narrative that seamlessly fuses elements of mystery, women’s fiction, and legal suspense. Although an extended courtroom sequence toward the end of the novel deflates much of its narrative momentum, it still works overall, in large part due to Mason’s focus on character development throughout. Drummond, Cropper, and even relatively peripheral characters, such as Hegner, are all fully realized and authentic, which makes the emotional aspect of the story feel intense and intimate. As a result, readers will experience the diversity of Drummond’s feelings during her painful but redemptive journey of self-discovery.
An insightful exploration of love and loss that will have suspense fans turning pages until the very end.