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.