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Any Crime Lover Will No Doubt Enjoy
on October 11, 2011
Margaret Coel explores the corruption of love and politics in her taut thriller, The Perfect Suspect published by Berkley's Prime Crime imprint.
Catherine McLeod is the central character, an investigative news reporter who finds herself thrust into the events of a recent homicide, the murder of a venerated politician on the fast-track to the White House. Catherine McLeod must choose between advancing the truth as she uncovers new evidence that can change the course of the investigation, or allowing a scapegoat to take the fall for the true killer by doing nothing at all.
Margaret Coel quickly advances the action; from the first pages we are thrust into the mind of a conflicted killer caught between love and betrayal as she shoots David Mathews, the sophisticated politician expected to take the governor's seat in the state of Colorado. Coel creates a portrait of corruption both internal and external - love spoiled and tainted, the flawless politician whose spotless image is thin cover for his adulterous affairs, and the killer herself, Detective Ryan Beckman, put in charge of the homicide investigation when her job is to protect and to serve. Catherine McLeod is one of the few characters who holds firm against this moral decay. She insists upon pursuing evidence on the strength of an anonymous phone call that implicates Detective Ryan Beckman as the killer.
The action unfolds as the murder expands into a spiral of circumstances - Beckman uses all the resources of her occupation she can muster to silence potential witnesses, while McLeod proves equally tenacious, unable to stand by and watch as Sydney Mathews, David's wife, takes the heat of the investigation and is charged with murder. The key to bringing Beckman to justice revolves around the anonymous caller, and it becomes a race between them as each struggles to reach the witness first - McLeod becoming Beckman's target in the process.
Margaret Coel provides the action in swift succession, allowing the reader insights into characters and their motivations in a slow unfolding, seeing the crime and its after effects from multiple angles. Fast-paced, any crime lover will no doubt enjoy this latest installment in Coel's recurring character of Catherine McLeod.
reviewed by Shroud's Martin Rose