A first-rate and undaunted protagonist easily carries this brisk crime tale—and ongoing series.

Perfectly Good Crime

A KATE BRADLEY MYSTERY

A TV news reporter finds a great story—and a mystery—when someone starts stealing from Los Angeles’ wealthiest homeowners.

Kate Bradley’s not happy that Channel 11 bumps her story of a devastating train wreck for a burglary, especially when it’s not even a celebrity’s house. But she changes her mind when cop friend and secret inside source Detective Jake Newton can get her exclusive access to another robbery with the same M.O. Someone’s bypassing high-tech security systems and making off with millions in cash and goods in record time. Homes of L.A.’s richest are the discernible targets, and it’s hardly surprising that the public’s not very sympathetic. Things take a startling turn when a fire breaks out during a burglary in progress, culminating in one thief injured and another caught on camera. The latter contacts Kate, wanting viewers to know that the culprits aren’t bad people, championed by an unknown leader, directing the crimes via earpiece and talking of changing the world. Kate’s already got a lot going on, with Jake’s inexplicable disappearance and a dream job offer that would take her to New York and away from fire captain boyfriend Eric Hayes. But if she can find the motive for the robberies, she can at least expose the person behind it all. Complications abound in this tale in exhilarating fashion: a possible clue vanishing from a crime scene and the news story leading into the world of online gaming. But nothing’s as gleefully complex as the protagonist herself. Kate, for one, is a senator’s daughter, which may get her connections to the affluent victims but likewise burdens her with expectations of spinning reports to favor Dad’s rich pals. Meserve (Good Sam, 2014) delivers a mystery that’s generally sound, although most readers will figure it out well before Kate. What holds the most weight is Kate’s perpetual conflict as a reporter; she’s made a successful career from covering stories of tragedy but she’s later horrified when witnessing a murdered high schooler’s grieving mother. Kate’s intuitive and professional, but it’s her steadfast compassion that makes her truly remarkable.

A first-rate and undaunted protagonist easily carries this brisk crime tale—and ongoing series.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9914499-3-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Melrose Hill Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2016

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The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with...

SUMMER ISLAND

Talk-show queen takes tumble as millions jeer.

Nora Bridges is a wildly popular radio spokesperson for family-first virtues, but her loyal listeners don't know that she walked out on her husband and teenaged daughters years ago and didn't look back. Now that a former lover has sold racy pix of naked Nora and horny himself to a national tabloid, her estranged daughter Ruby, an unsuccessful stand-up comic in Los Angeles, has been approached to pen a tell-all. Greedy for the fat fee she's been promised, Ruby agrees and heads for the San Juan Islands, eager to get reacquainted with the mom she plans to betray. Once in the family homestead, nasty Ruby alternately sulks and glares at her mother, who is temporarily wheelchair-bound as a result of a post-scandal car crash. Uncaring, Ruby begins writing her side of the story when she's not strolling on the beach with former sweetheart Dean Sloan, the son of wealthy socialites who basically ignored him and his gay brother Eric. Eric, now dying of cancer and also in a wheelchair, has returned to the island. This dismal threesome catch up on old times, recalling their childhood idylls on the island. After Ruby's perfect big sister Caroline shows up, there's another round of heartfelt talk. Nora gradually reveals the truth about her unloving husband and her late father's alcoholism, which led her to seek the approval of others at the cost of her own peace of mind. And so on. Ruby is aghast to discover that she doesn't know everything after all, but Dean offers her subdued comfort. Happy endings await almost everyone—except for readers of this nobly preachy snifflefest.

The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with syrupy platitudes about life and love.

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-609-60737-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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TRUE BETRAYALS

Thoroughbreds and Virginia blue-bloods cavort, commit murder, and fall in love in Roberts's (Hidden Riches, 1994, etc.) latest romantic thriller — this one set in the world of championship horse racing. Rich, sheltered Kelsey Byden is recovering from a recent divorce when she receives a letter from her mother, Naomi, a woman she has believed dead for over 20 years. When Kelsey confronts her genteel English professor father, though, he sheepishly confesses that, no, her mother isn't dead; throughout Kelsey's childhood, she was doing time for the murder of her lover. Kelsey meets with Naomi and not only finds her quite charming, but the owner of Three Willows, one of the most splendid horse farms in Virginia. Kelsey is further intrigued when she meets Gabe Slater, a blue-eyed gambling man who owns a neighboring horse farm; when one of Gabe's horses is mated with Naomi's, nostrils flare, flanks quiver, and the romance is on. Since both Naomi and Gabe have horses entered in the Kentucky Derby, Kelsey is soon swept into the whirlwind of the Triple Crown, in spite of her family's objections to her reconciliation with the notorious Naomi. The rivalry between the two horse farms remains friendly, but other competitors — one of them is Gabe's father, a vicious alcoholic who resents his son's success — prove less scrupulous. Bodies, horse and human, start piling up, just as Kelsey decides to investigate the murky details of her mother's crime. Is it possible she was framed? The ground is thick with no-goods, including haughty patricians, disgruntled grooms, and jockeys with tragic pasts, but despite all the distractions, the identity of the true culprit behind the mayhem — past and present — remains fairly obvious. The plot lopes rather than races to the finish. Gambling metaphors abound, and sexual doings have a distinctly equine tone. But Roberts's style has a fresh, contemporary snap that gets the story past its own worst excesses.

Pub Date: June 13, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-14059-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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