What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labelled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system? Probably not.
After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace.
When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved.
As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.
Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.
This is a really cunning and clever mystery with a cast of some truly ghastly but fascinating characters! There are, of course, the good guys too and these are equally as interesting, particularly Dalia, the insurance investigator, and Tyler, the cop.
The story begins and ends from the point of view of Alex, our main suspect, but most of it is narrated by Dalia. She gives us an insight into the complicated business of insurance for highly valuable items, and with her sharp, incisive mind she contributes greatly to the police investigation too. She’s very likeable, down-to-earth and engaging as our main protagonist.
It’s enlightening to see the world through Alex’s eyes too. He’s not trying to impress anyone, just be brutally self-serving. He and Marley and Ashton Bennington are the main suspects, but how to determine which one of them perpetrated the crime, or was it all of them? Or was it someone else altogether?
There’s a great sense of place in the novel. The settings range from the courtroom, to the sumptuous residence of the Benningtons, to prison interview rooms, to various atmospheric sites were the team conduct their investigations. Each has loads of atmosphere and detail.
There’s co-operation and confrontation in the novel, loyalty and betrayal, cruelty and kindness and hatred and love. There are plenty of shocks in store for the reader but not enough to destroy your faith in humanity. Even though it seems unlikely at times that justice will fully out in this complicated case, you’re aware that there’s a strong force for good at work.
The plot keeps you guessing all the way through this gripping and highly enjoyable novel.
Absolutely to be recommended.
K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right?
As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.
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