This series is classic #crimenoir PI fiction. Dark suspense, damaged protagonist prone to booze, electric.
Quiet towns keep big secrets.
Private investigator Jessica Shaw is leading a quiet life in a Californian desert community, where she spends her days working low-level cases. But when a former resident asks Jessica to help her sister, Rue Hunter—a convicted murderer whose execution is days away—Jessica can’t resist the offer.
Rue doesn’t remember what happened the night two high school students were killed thirty years ago, but everybody in town is certain she’s guilty. As Jessica looks for answers, she finds that local rumors point one way and evidence points another. And nobody wants to face the truth. Meanwhile, Jessica can’t shake the feeling that someone is stalking her—now more than ever, she knows she can’t trust anyone.
As Jessica digs deeper, she encounters local secrets in unlikely places—including the police department itself. But the clock is ticking, and Jessica must find the truth fast—or Rue’s bad memory may be the death of them both.
My first in the series of two and I can see why Book 1 (Thin Air) has garnered over 2K reviews on Amazon. Yes, perhaps it would be good to start with Book 1 but I had no problem understanding where this woman might have come from. Of course, the name Jessica Shaw kept hauling me back to the Jessica Jones (TV) series, so regardless of any kind of description, all I could envision was young, pretty, dark and seriously bent, Jessica.
The storyline revolves around a death row inmate due for execution, the sudden questioning of her own confession, and her sister’s desire to get at the truth–either way. I loved the way the author built a slow-burn, gleaning a small clue that somehow festers into an actual useable gem–something to build on.
Each chapter names either the main character or one of the many support characters and captures their view of the circumstances, whether currently, or back the thirty years that the murders happened. You get details filled in without being mired in minutia between solidly leading chapters. The hook from the beginning doesn’t let up and you’re in for the count. The reader might be guessing, jumping ahead knowing what’s coming, and then thwarted again by yet another twist or red herring.
But these are old secrets. Deadly secrets. And Jessica is racing again time to either stall an execution or supply those missing pieces of the memory that just doesn’t seem to form a whole picture. It’s complex. Far more than you might have thought. Realistic dialogue, engaging characters, and thoroughly well-plotted mystery, suspense, thriller.
Jessica might be just a bit difficult to invest in; perhaps you’d have to have walked somewhat in her shoes (and I hope you haven’t). She hasn’t been taught the latest defensive moves, barely owns a gun, and isn’t the deadly female whiz-bang of Dean Koontz variety. Jessica is vulnerable but savvy, smart, independent. The question is–can she save this woman due for execution?
I received this digital download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Definitely up for Book 3! My problems were a few edit misses and a couple contradictions a beta reader should have caught. Other than that, this one is totally recommended and predicted to do very well. Get in on (almost) the ground floor, or go back and start with Book 1. Either way, you can’t miss.
Genre: Private Investigator, Crime Thrillers
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
- ASIN: B07Q8FD47T
Rosepoint Publishing: 4.5 of Five Stars
The Author: (Amazon) Lisa Gray has been writing professionally for years, serving as the chief Scottish soccer writer at the Press Association and the books editor at the Daily Record Saturday Magazine. Lisa currently works as a journalist for the Daily Record and Sunday Mail. This is her first crime novel. Learn more at http://www.lisagraywriter.com.
(Goodreads) Lisa Gray is a writer and journalist, and the author of the PI Jessica Shaw thriller series.
She decided at a young age that she wanted to write features for magazines and somehow ended up working as a football journalist for 14 years instead.
After too many winters spent freezing at matches and worrying about dodgy wi-fi connections, Lisa gave up football to work as a content writer at a national newspaper, where she had a spell as their books columnist.
An avid reader, she was hooked on Sweet Valley High and Point Horror books as a youngster, before turning to crime. Her favorite authors include Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Karin Slaughter.
THIN AIR is her debut crime novel and the first in a series about private investigator Jessica Shaw.
©2019 V Williams