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Town Red by Jennifer Moss

Town Red

By Jennifer Moss

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1937329563
Publisher: Black Opal Books

A Windy City cop works a high-profile murder case, but his feelings for a suspect complicate the investigation.

One morning, a husband and wife turn up dead—she at their home in the tony Lincoln Park neighborhood, he at the office of Town Red Media, the ad agency they owned and ran with an iron fist. Ryan Doherty, the “top detective in Chicagoland,” is on the case, and if he can’t nab the killer quickly, his job is on the line. Assembling a list of possible suspects is easy since Scott and Carly Redding made a lot of enemies as they built their business. But could any of them have pulled off the crime? At first, it seems that both victims died of natural causes; there’s little evidence at either scene, so if someone killed this power couple, they were smart enough to thoroughly cover their tracks. One person who might be able to help uncover the truth is Catharine Lulling, a former Town Red executive, now holed up in a lavish North Shore mansion. She left the company under unpleasant circumstances but retained stock options that made her a millionaire. Doherty finds it hard to believe that the enigmatic, “eccentric” Catherine (she claims to be psychic) could have anything to do with her ex-bosses’ deaths. But there’s a chance Doherty’s attraction to Catharine blinds him to the truth. Is she hiding the killer’s real identity or something else? Moss’ page-turning debut novel is engrossing, with natural dialogue and a mystery that plays out in a mostly believable fashion, though the novel’s paranormal elements never quite mesh with the more realistic aspects of the book. Overall, the story is more fluffy than gritty, but with a hero as compelling as Doherty, few readers—especially those who have a soft spot for tough cops with sensitive souls—are likely to complain. Dashes of humor balance the darker moments in the engaging whodunit, which will leave readers guessing until the end.

Clever and fast-paced, this cocktail of romance and mystery goes down smooth with a nice finish.