Edward Cohen (Israel Catfish, 2013, etc.) joins forces with his wife, debut author Kathy Cohen, for a murder mystery that centers on a troubled father-son relationship.
This New Orleans–set whodunit opens with 27-year-old playboy attorney Kyle Cameron finding the lifeless, naked body of beautiful Laura Niles lying in her bed, her blood-soaked gown on the floor. She was an attorney at Cameron & Munger, the firm co-founded by Kyle’s father, Jake. After the initial setup, the narrative jumps back two months, revealing several potential suspects. For example, Jake was having affair with Laura; when Kyle found out, he seduced the young woman himself, hoping that she’d break up with Jake (thus sparing his mother, Nola, some pain). However, Laura refused him. It also turns out that Ginger Allred, a fiery attorney at the firm and one of Jake’s former lovers, despised Laura, who replaced her on the top floor. There are also other, less-than-reputable characters in the dead woman’s past. The tension between Kyle and Jake is palpable throughout; although they’re bound together by familial love, they don’t like each other much. Jake sees Kyle as undisciplined, impetuous, and a notorious womanizer, albeit a quick study with potential; Kyle sees his dad as someone he can never please and as the cause of Nola’s unhappiness and attempted suicide. Kyle, the narrator of this twisty tale, does indeed seem to be a slave to his sexual appetites. However, the authors also make him charmingly vulnerable and self-deprecating—an affable lead that readers will likely find themselves rooting for. When Kyle receives a major case from his father, for instance, he says: “ ‘Well, thanks.’ I wasn’t sure what I was thanking him for, my job or the case. I was equally undeserving of both.” However, the authors also make sure that Kyle’s mettle as an attorney shines through in the cases he handles—particularly when he has to defend his father. The novel offers well-drawn, larger-than-life secondary characters and clever, fast-paced dialogue, which makes for an engrossing read. There are also several steamy sex scenes, depicted from a decidedly male perspective.
A well-constructed mystery with a knockout surprise ending.