MATERIAL WITNESS by L.A. Mondello
Best of 2012
Kirkus Star

MATERIAL WITNESS

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mondello’s latest, a pulse-pounding, pitch-perfect addition to the romantic-suspense genre.

Cassie Alvaraz, a mystery writer in Providence, R.I., is smart, funny and attractively down to earth. She’s also on deadline and in need of inspiration. In search of fresh material, Maureen, her editor, suggests that Cassie dress alluringly and hang out in an infamous underworld bar. Cassie realizes the absurdity of Maureen’s idea too late, but she still feels game after spotting hunky undercover cop Jake Santos. Jake can tell right away that Cassie is no prostitute, and if she doesn’t get herself out of the seedy dive where he’s waiting to meet an informant, she might get hurt. Just as their flirtation threatens to get heavy, gunfire rips apart the bar. When the smoke clears, a local mobster lies in a pool of blood, and Jake realizes that Cassie is the only one who got a good look at the killer. Soon, the duo is on the run with, and later without, FBI protection, and the spark they first felt at the bar slowly kindles a roaring passion. Mondello brings terrific enthusiasm to this material: Cassie, the sassy heroine, is immensely likable, Jake, the dreamboat, is also a thoughtful cop, and their passion feels genuine. Action scenes are taut, while snappy dialogue manages to be by turns tough and cute. The supporting cast provides the right number of red herrings, but the plot breaks no new ground, with the heroes racing through a series of classic witness-in-peril clichés, such as a safe house that isn’t so safe after all. In the end, the real hook is the nimble tone that shifts from breezy to thrilling and back again with masterful precision.

Terrific escapist entertainment, as good as anything in Janet Evanovich’s oeuvre.

Pub Date: June 6th, 2012
Page count: 194pp
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2012




BEST INDIE BOOKS OF 2012: THRILLS & KILLS:

Indie BLOOD MONEY by Laura M. Rizio
by Laura M. Rizio
Indie COOPER'S PROMISE by Timothy Jay Smith
by Timothy Jay Smith
Indie I2 by James Bannon
Kirkus Star I2
by James Bannon
Indie LATE BOOMER by David Benson
by David Benson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionDATING DEAD MEN by Harley Jane Kozak
by Harley Jane Kozak
FictionONE FOR THE MONEY by Janet Evanovich
by Janet Evanovich
Fiction'K' IS FOR KILLER by Sue Grafton
by Sue Grafton