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A Good Killing: A Novel (Anna Curtis Series) Hardcover – May 12, 2015
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Praise for A GOOD KILLING
"This Summer's Best of the Best" books by O, The Oprah Magazine
"[Leotta is] a writer exceptionally well-informed about crimes against women. . . these are smart, tough-minded tales, well worth a look." --Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post
"Anna Curtis is one of my favorite fictional protagonists. . . . Leotta's a star, and this book has all the evidence to prove it." --Linda Fairstein
"A Good Killing is a mix of ‘Law and Order: SVU’ with a dash of John Grisham and romance. Like the best episodes of Law and Order, the main premise is ripped from the headlines. . . . Leotta knows her way around the courtroom in real life and doesn't avoid uncomfortable topics. Following Anna Curtis on the path to the truth is an enjoyable one.” --Associated Press
“A Good Killing builds to a dandy (and surprising) climax, part of it in the courtroom — and part of it at the coach’s murder.” --St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A Good Killing should help catapult [Leotta] onto the A-list of legal-fiction.” --Green Valley News (Green Valley/Tuscon, AZ)
"A perfect 10 . . . It's too good to miss." --Romance Reviews Today
"Dark secrets, a small town, and one supercharged trial . . . [Leotta] scores big." --Kirkus Reviews
“Former prosecutor Leotta, who clearly knows her way around a courtroom, explores the bonds between women in this suspenseful tale with surprising twists and an ultimately satisfying conclusion.” --Booklist
"Leotta spins a delicious tale of suspense that will have readers hurrying to find out what happens but at the same time wanting to savor each page. This highly entertaining thriller shouldn’t be missed." --Library Journal (starred review ())
"Leotta pens romantic suspense detailing street crime in a style that's as real as it gets." (USA Today)
About the Author
Allison Leotta was a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington, DC, for twelve years. In 2011, she left the Justice Department to pursue writing full time. She is the acclaimed author of Law of Attraction, Discretion, Speak of the Devil, A Good Killing, and The Last Good Girl and founder of the award-winning blog, The Prime-Time Crime Review. Leotta lives with her husband, Michael, and their two sons outside of Washington, DC. Visit her online at AllisonLeotta.com.
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Having just broken off her engagement, D.C. federal sex-crime prosecutor Anna Curtis feels as if her life is up in the air. When she receives a call from a childhood friend, Anna discovers that her hometown’s beloved football coach has died, and that somehow her younger sister, Jody, is wanted by the police for questioning. Jumping on the next plane home to Michigan, Anna soon finds herself playing defense attorney for the first time in her life and desperate to prove her sister innocent. Something she begins to question as her investigation digs deeper into her hometown’s secrets. With the help of Cooper Bolden, a childhood friend and Iraq war vet with his own secrets, Anna soon discovers that home isn’t always what we think it is as children.
Ms. Leotta does an excellent job developing the primary characters in this story; I easily connected with both Anna and Jody from the start and enjoyed getting to know them more as the story developed. Told in first person by both Anna and Jody, we get to see a fuller picture of their background and what has been taking place in both women’s lives. Born to a hard working mother and alcoholic father, Anna and Jody were both determined to get an education and get out of town, but only Anna managed to leave while Jody stayed behind and went to work at GM in Detroit.
While both girls loved their mother, and she eventually raised them as a single mom and did the best she could, Anna and Jody have a close and yet fractured relationship; Jody’s been keeping secrets for a long time and both of them have a hard time trusting men. Something they’ve both learned the hard way. While equally intelligent, Jody’s past (both long term and recent), that’s tied to her personal history with the deceased coach, makes the police look at Jody as their best candidate for a suspect and puts Anna in the position of having to look at the law, and our justice system, from the defenses point of view. Something she’s never really thought about before
The secondary characters are also well developed and I especially enjoyed getting to know Cooper Bolden, their childhood friend and hottie yet damaged war veteran. We also got to meet some characters from Anna’s life in D.C., such as Grace her best friend and Jack, the man she was going to marry, who is also technically one of her bosses. We get to meet Jody’s best friend, Kathy, who’s got her own issues with the dead coach, which turn out to be tied to Jody’s case.
The mystery itself, as to who murdered the coach and why, is very well done. The story takes plenty of twists and turns, and we discover who the coach really was as a teacher, a husband and man about town. Ms. Leotta’s story also deals with a topic close to my heart in this story, how athletes and their coaches, have somehow been able to get away with a code of behavior that would get anyone else in trouble with the law. As recent events in real life have come to light with professional athletes, Ms. Leotta’s story highlights how this insidious behavior affects both large and small towns.
Will Anna be able to prove her sister’s innocence? Will uncovering her hometown’s secrets result in any additional deaths? And will Anna and Cooper’s mutual attraction change the course of Anna’s life? You’ll have to read A Good Killing to find out. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
*** I received a complimentary copy of this book via the publisher for a fair and honest review.
Allison Leotta's "A Good Killing' is a solid and suspenseful thriller. The author depicts Detroit as a scene of urban blight, with a few restored areas built up and maintained by civic-minded residents. Meanwhile, the people of Holly Grove harbor sinister secrets that, if revealed, would send shock waves throughout the town. With the help of Cooper Bolden, a resourceful and compassionate friend who lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan, Anna does everything in her power to identify anyone who had the motive, means, and opportunity to harm Fowler. She firmly believes that Jody is incapable of murder and is determined to prove her sister's innocence.
Leotta capably portrays the jealousies, rivalries, long-simmering feuds, and frustrations of her characters. Coach Fowler's wife appears to be a shallow and arrogant, but appearances can be deceiving; an old flame of Anna's is an aggressive cop who is eager to put Jody behind bars; and Kathy, a friend of the Curtis family, has been brought low by tragedy. Anna has a romantic backstory, as well. She and her fiancé have split and it is unclear whether the two will get back together. Cooper is rugged, dependable, good-looking, and attracted to Anna, but she is unwilling to take a new lover while reeling from her recent breakup. There is yet another intriguing dimension: In separate chapters printed in bold type, Jody slowly reveals the truth about what has been troubling her since she was a teenager. Allison Leotta wraps up "A Good Killing" with an exciting conclusion that confirms the veracity of Shakespeare's words: "One may smile, and smile, and be a villain."