Title: Outside the Wire (a Pacific Homicide #2) by Patricia Smiley
Genre: Currently #4329 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, and Police Procedurals
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: To be released November 8, 2017 – Happy Release Day!
Source: Midnight Ink and NetGalley
Title and Cover: Outside the Wire – Love the cover–striking colors
Outside the Wire features Davie Richards as a LAPD Homicide Detective. At last–a female protagonist not damaged beyond saving or sporting model-like height and classic features! Her Kung Fu will worry no one, but she is packing. This lady sounds real and with her years on the force as an officer and detective, she has history. This is the sophomore release of this series by Ms. Smiley and is an intelligent, thoughtful, and reflective narrative on our military back from ‘Nam. (Some fared better than others. Few were exempt from memories best left in the jungle.)
Outside the Wire focuses on four of these men and the reported suicide of the first of which, Davie and her partner Detective Jason Vaughn are called to the airport-parking garage to investigate. Zeke Woodrow was a retired U.S. Army Ranger, but the scene doesn’t reflect a story of suicide. The victim leaves a cat, which Davie discovers and rescues and provides a very real life sub-plot as Davie attempts to care for an animal with which she’s had no previous experience. The cat inadvertently provides clues that lead to Zeke’s Ranger buddies.
In the meantime, we learn how little of a personal life Davie has, her life being her dedication to the job and the victims. Her partner is not fleshed out quite as well, nor those of peripheral characters, but we definitely get a dose of police procedurals–fascinating in themselves, delimiting rules of procedure. The term “Outside the Wire,” as previously described is a military term for being outside the safety of a base, while the term “The Limit” describes those associated with law enforcement as being at the end of what they can psychologically or physically handle.
Dialogue is very natural and comes off as ordinary conversation in natural circumstances. Descriptions allow insightful information and encompass normal human conversation so it’s easy to picture the scene. I loved many of Ms. Smiley’s metaphors, i.e. “She stretched out the two syllables like salt-water taffy.” There were twists I didn’t expect, though I appreciated the obvious appreciation for the work of our military and the parallel to law enforcement.
Therefore, what stopped me from showering it with stars (five of them?). I don’t know. I enjoyed her writing style, sense of humor, the subtle tension between the men and women. I really liked Davie. But for some reason though, I just had a problem keeping my head in it and it took longer for me to read than it should have. However, there was an explosive scene with one of the ex-Rangers that kept me riveted. The climax pulled in all loose threads nicely and was mainly a satisfying ending.
This ARC was offered and downloaded from Midnight Ink and NetGalley and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy a good suspense thriller, police procedural.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: (From her Goodreads Author Page) Patricia Smiley is the author of four novels, featuring amateur sleuth Tucker Sinclair. PACIFIC HOMICIDE is the first in a new series about Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective Davie Richards and is based on her 15-year stint as a volunteer for the LAPD. The second book in the series OUTSIDE THE WIRE will debut on November 8, 2017.
Patty’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Two of the Deadliest, an anthology edited by Elizabeth George. She has taught writing classes at various conferences in the U.S. and Canada and served as the vice president of the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America and as president of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles. Patty lives in Los Angeles where she is working on the third book in the Pacific Homicide series. For more information, visit http://www.patriciasmiley.com ©2017 Virginia Williams