The suspense, both procedural and romantic, as well as shrewd surprise twists and turns will keep readers guessing until the satisfying conclusion. Building tension throughout with apparent ease, Hays has penned an at times dark and often relatable debut novel featuring a strong-willed and strong-minded woman detective who is all business when it comes to her professional life and home life. Or she seems to be–the banter and flirtation between Linder and Donatelli lightens the mood even as readers wonder just how far Linder will let her attraction to another man go, while the intriguing connections between the two detectives' cases offer a tantalizing puzzle.
Character-driven yet fast-paced, Hays’s story is heavily immersed into the inner workings of the police force, seeming to lift the veil and expose hard truths about just how far some members of law enforcement are willing to go to cover for each other, even in their wrongdoing. Linder is a wonderfully developed and complex protagonist that readers will relate to and root for. Readers of thoughtful crime fiction will hope this debut is the start of more novels to come featuring this Bern cast.
Takeaway: A tense, character-driven crime debut perfect for fans of thoughtful police procedurals.
Great for fans of: Gwen Banta’s With Wanton Disregard, John Barlow’s Right to Kill.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A