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Loyalty Hardcover – June 18, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Fina Ludlow Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, goes the saying. Boston PI Fina Ludlow knows this all too well. When her sister-in-law Melanie goes missing, Ludlow probes the depths of her high-powered lawyer family in search of answers. No one is above suspicion, and Melanie’s husband, Rand, is at the top of her list. Was infidelity the reason behind Melanie’s disappearance? Rand insists he wasn’t unfaithful, but Ludlow knows how slippery her brother can be. Ludlow works to gather information from those closest to her sister, from her best girlfriends to her beautiful teenage daughter, who seems to be engaged in some dubious behavior of her own. Ludlow has the shrewdness of her parents and siblings (she knows getting information often requires descending into the city’s underbelly), but she has compassion, too. Fans of the Kinsey Millhone mysteries will enjoy this engaging, if a bit predictable, debut. --Allison Block

Review

"Kinsey Millhone, you've got competition. This firecracker of a series starter is a perfect summer read. It introduces Fina Ludlow, the in-house private investigator for her family's ethically shaky law firm. What starts as a search for her missing sister-in-law uncovers bombshells and twisted family secrets. "

— Entertainment Weekly


"What starts, in Thoft’s dazzling first novel, as a missing-persons case for Boston PI Fina Ludlow—the search for her sister-in-law, Melanie—swells through layers of familial secrets, lies, and betrayals to something approaching Greek tragedy....Readers will be eager to see more of smash-mouth Fina, a hard-boiled throwback equally comfortable shooting from the hip or the lip."
— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Thoft’s promising debut introduces a significantly flawed but tough new PI and offers up compelling suspense, while the smooth prose keeps things moving right along….This mystery wrapped in family drama should please fans of contemporary suspense of the more hard-boiled sort.”
                        — Library Journal

“(Fina) Ludlow has the shrewdness of her parents and siblings but she has compassion, too. Fans of the Kinsey Millhone mysteries will enjoy this engaging debut.”
—    Booklist

"LOYALTY's Fina Ludlow is my hero. If I were in a bad spot, I'd want her at my back. Don't miss it."
— # 1 New York Times-bestselling author Catherine Coulter

"In her debut novel, Ingrid Thoft  gives us Fina Ludlow, the newest private eye to prowl Boston's mean streets. Fina returns the female detective to the heart of the hard-boiled tradition: hard-drinking, hard-loving, moody. Writer Ingrid Thoft has given her a dysfunctional extended family that rivals the Ewings of Dallas fame, which adds a dimension not often seen in the PI novel." 

 — New York Times-

bestselling author Sara Paretsky

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399162127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399162121
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I finished Loyalty in one sitting and am hoping the author has a sequel underway. Fina is a great character, complex and relatable. Her interactions with family, lovers and friends really fleshed out the plot. She's a strong, believably kick-ass heroine and is vulnerable without being sappy. The book was very well-written and well-edited, an impressive debut. I read a lot of mysteries and this one stands out for its characters, consistency and gripping plot. Anyone who's a fan of Linda Barnes' Carlotta Carlyle series will surely enjoy Loyalty.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I just wish Josefina was my best friend. This story is about a seriously dysfunctional family and the only one who is remotely normal is Fina. Her sister in law goes missing and Fina's family of ambulance chasing lawyers immediately start misleading everyone and throwing roadblocks into Fina's way. She is the only one who is not a lawyer and chose to be a Private Investigator.

The cast of characters is wide and they are well fleshed out as individual people. This is a one day read for me and I will certainly be watching for more by this author.
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to believe that Loyalty is a debut novel. Ingrid Thoft has a way with words and dialog that makes the reader feel like she is in the company of an accomplished writer.

The book is a mystery/thriller with a great protagonist named Fina Ludlow. She is part of THE Ludlow clan, a large conglomerate of defense attorneys in the Boston area alll working for Fina's father Carl. Fina flunked out of law school and became a private investigator. She usually does work for her fathers or brothers and, in this book, her job is no exception. Her brother Rand's wife, Melanie, disappears and as the days go by it looks bleaker and bleaker.

As Fina first searches for Melanie and then her murderer, she is faced with deadly information about a slew of people, including her own family. Fina is one tough cookie and she is just as likely to pull a gun as she is to wear a thong. Her best friend is a hunky quy named Milloy who is a masseur by trade and Fina's occasional lover. There is also the handsome police officer, Christian, with whom Fina likes to share business and sex with.

The plot gets a little too complicated but this is a real page turner and a fun book to boot. I highly look forward to more books by Ms. Thoft.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this because I had read a review in a magazine and it sounded great- and it did not disappoint. Fina is a PI in Boston, working for a crass personal injury law firm headed by her father and brothers. When her sister in law goes missing, Fina is put to use to help find her, but when looking her disappearance family secrets begin to come to light and family politics come into play. Her family is totally dysfunctional but Fina is a strong character and does her best to navigate while looking for the truth behind the disappearance. As personal injury lawyers, the firm and her family have enemies all over so there's no lack of suspects, both in and around the family. In addition to a decent mystery, there's the theme of parenting and taking care of family and, of course, loyalty. This is the kind of mystery that makes you think and reflect on your own family. An excellent first novel, a quick read and difficult to put down. This is closer to noir than cozy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Perhaps it was the cover that drew me in, however; I am glad I gave Loyalty a chance. Ingrid Thoft is a fine writer with an easy prose. Loyalty is a straight forward PI novel told without any shocking twists, turns or unnecessary red herrings.

The Ludlows are a family of wealthy personal injury lawyers. Carl Ludlow is the patriarch of the family and his three sons, Rand, Matthew and Scotty work at his law office. 36 year old Fina Ludlow was slated to join the firm but flunked out of law school. After learning the PI business from the firms lead investigator, Fina steps into his role when the job becomes available. Fina Ludlow is a smart woman with an edgy wit. She has a suitable arrangement with two separate men. One is an old college friend, the other a detective in Major Crimes.

In this debut novel, Rand's wife Melanie is missing and Fina is asked to ascertain her whereabouts without police involvement. As Fina begins to ask the hard questions, she sets off a chain of events that may alter the Ludlows perfect facade in unforeseen ways. Always the black sheep of the family, Fina comes to realize that she may have to choose where her loyalties lie, if she is going to discover the truth.

Having received her certificate in private investigation, Ingrid Thoft uses this knowledge to write with authority. "Loyalty" blends the elements necessary for a good PI story with the relationships within this dysfunctional family. While Fina does take her fair share of hits, literally and figuratively the violence is not graphic. As compared to the Dennis Lehane's, Patrick/Angela PI series this novel would be considered subtle.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fina is a refreshing character—witty, sarcastic, with her own set of moral values. She's unique and her family dynamic is interesting and rare in mystery fiction (the best comparison might be that facing Jane Rizzoli in Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles novels). The pace moves quickly, and as mysteries and thrillers go, the book isn't particularly heavy. But given how many thrillers come out these days, it's nice to find something unique with a character who is the reason for reading.
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