What if a large part of your past turned out to be a lie?
Crime consultant Scott Drayco is already in the middle of a possible career-ending legal battle when word comes that his mother, who disappeared 30 years ago, is very much alive — and charged with murder. With Drayco’s father washing his hands of the matter and police convinced the woman is guilty, everyone tells Drayco he should just walk away from the case and let the chips fall where they may.
Except, Drayco finds he can’t leave it alone and is obsessed with uncovering the truth: Is his mother really a killer? Where has she been all these years? And why did she suddenly leave her husband and children to vanish without a trace?
Investigating the murder victim’s colleagues, Drayco learns there are plenty who wanted the man dead, including a shadowy stalker who seems to have a mysterious connection to Drayco’s mother. As he wades hip-deep into secrets, lies, and cons, Drayco begins to question if the case is all just part of an elaborate scam ... where the only one being fooled is Drayco himself.
Plot: A fast-paced whodunit, Lawson’s recent installment in the Scott Drayco mystery series is reminiscent of many models in the genre, but contains enough pleasantly unexpected surprises and meticulous details to deliver a fresh mystery.
Prose: Lawson’s prose is clean, crisp, and detailed, demonstrating a clear affinity for crime journalism.
Originality: The familiar narrative of an innocent victim being framed for murder is made unique by the author’s flair for plot twists and fine-tuned descriptions.
Character Development: While, as a surly detective with a tumultuous past, Scott Drayco may be familiar, Lawson's protagonist is also greatly compelling; Lawson also excels at crafting seemingly minor figures whose roles in the story may be more significant than they seem.
Date Submitted: April 05, 2018
ELEGY IN SCARLET is a finalist for the 2017 Daphne Award, in the Mainstream Mystery/Suspense category. The Daphnes are awarded annually by the Kiss of Death Chapter of the RWA.