Andrea Stern was once a respected FBI profiler, but she gave it up to be a stay-at-home mom to her four children (with a fifth very much on the way). She now lives in the suburbs (West Windsor, New Jersey) with her children and husband (a convicted white-collar criminal).
When one of Andrea’s very young children is desperate for a bathroom while driving home, Andrea pulls her car into a service station and tries to hurry her daughter to the bathroom when they are stopped by two patrol-officers who are starting to tape off a crime scene at the location. Just as the officers inform Andrea that she and her daughter need to leave, the little girl pees all over the area, contaminating the crime scene. And so begins Andrea’s involvement in a homicide in her own community.
Andrea finds she’s missed using her skills and she’s serious about the murder of the young man at the service station mart. With the help of a journalist friend, Kenny Lee, who’s badly in need of a good story to help get his good reputation back, Andrea investigates the homicide … which she notes does NOT have the signs of a random or gang murder as the police try to frame it. Which can only mean the police themselves are either extremely incompetent or covering up something. But what?
This book was a really delightful read. I got so involved with the characters and the story that I was looking forward each day to getting back into the book. I was out of town for a long weekend and throughout the three days I was away I was constantly thinking of the book and where it might be heading.
The writing is delicious (I didn’t realize it at the time, but author Fabian Nicieza is the creative force behind Deadpool) and there is more than a fair amount of humor, and yet I never felt that the story was sacrificed for the humor. It flowed naturally and easily.
The story unfolds appropriately so we keep thinking we know what might come next but are often wrong. Or, if we’re correct, the surprise will be in how the matter is resolved.
The story is pretty quick and there are not many red herrings, but there are a few surprises here and there.
The characters and their relationships are what makes this book really shine and you can count me as someone highly interested in reading more Andrea Stern mysteries. This also would make a very good tv series.
Looking for a good book? If you like mysteries Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza should be on your reading list. If you aren’t a fan of mysteries, this is a great entry to the genre.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Fabian Nicieza
publisher: G.P. Putnam
hardcover, 400 pages