Lacefield’s work shines when Frankie is in the spotlight. She peppers interviews with tidbits about body language, interrogation style, and personality types, appealing to those who like ample psychology in their detective fiction. When Frankie’s narrative takes a back seat (including an underdeveloped side plot involving Frankie’s partner pursuing a fraudulent investor), the plot falters. Frankie is a smart character with a well-developed origin story. She’s a mixed-race woman in law enforcement in the American South, an identity that deserves more exploration than it gets, and Lacefield handles race clumsily at times; for example, a period when Frankie wore “loud colors” and hoop earrings is described as her “African-American days.”
The story is at its most engrossing when the reader is one step behind the detective. Lacefield tips her hand too early, particularly in chapters focusing on characters other than Frankie. Still, even though some readers may guess the ending beforehand, the climax is fast-paced and enjoyable. This book will appeal to those who are as interested in the why of the crime as in the who.
Takeaway: Adult readers who like tough, female detectives and in-depth criminal psychology will enjoy this cat-and-moise thriller.
Great for fans of Lisa Gardner’s FBI Profiler series, Karin Slaughter’s Triptych.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-