In Diskin’s debut mystery-thriller, a Chicago lawyer discovers a dead body and becomes entangled in a dangerous conspiracy.
After a series of mishaps, lawyer Abby Donovan, an overworked associate trying to make partner, finds herself in a seedy bar on the wrong side of town—and she discovers a prostitute’s corpse in the bar’s bathroom. Ali, a helpful Quick Mart owner with legal problems, gives her a ride home, and she gives him the phone number of an attorney who might help him. But when wholesome Ali is found dead in a supposed murder-suicide, Abby becomes suspicious. She meets Marcus Denton, an undercover cop with Internal Affairs, and they soon discover that Ali’s case is linked to a series of questionable drug busts that were followed by asset forfeitures. As they continue to investigate, Abby herself becomes a target and eventually faces a tense standoff with a murderer. Diskin has an easy, confident writing style. Throughout the novel, Abby is a smart, likable heroine, and readers will likely sympathize with her problems; she drinks too much when stressed, and she’s not always glamorous: “She always looked like she’d been rolling around on the ground by the end of the work day. She habitually played with her hair and rubbed her eyes while researching, ruining her make-up.” The novel’s puzzles are knotty and believable, and Abby cannily puts the facts together as she investigates; her legal knowledge, in particular, is essential to solving the case. Denton, Abby’s friends and other characters are similarly well-drawn, and even the main villain has a convincing back story.
A satisfying, suspenseful novel with an engaging heroine.