Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Deadly Business ~ Lis Wiehl with April Henry (earc) review [@aprilhenrybooks @LisWiehl @ThomasNelson]

A Deadly Business (Mia Quinn #2)
Thomas Nelson Publishers
June 10, 2014
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

If the hours don't kill you, the accused just might.

Mia Quinn is a Seattle prosecutor working on high profile cases in the Violent Crimes unit while juggling the impossible demands of single parenthood. Her husband, Scott, was killed in a car crash that homicide detective Charlie Carlson now believes was no accident. Charlie's instincts and professional record make it impossible for Mia to refute the evidence she'd rather not believe.

When the powers that be refuse to reopen the case, it's up to Mia and Charlie to investigate, all the while trying to deny a growing attraction between them. Was her accountant husband really in league with nefarious criminals? And who is the young woman whose photo they find on his computer?

Uncovering the truth may hurt Mia in more ways than one.

A Deadly Business is Lis Wiehl and April Henry's second novel featuring  Mia Quinn, a prosecutor with Seattle's Violent Crimes Unit. Readers were introduced to Mia in last year's A Matter of Trust; she is now raising her teenage son and preschool age daughter alone after the death of her husband several months prior. Mia not only has to adjust to single parenthood, but also with returning to work, having left to be a stay-at-home mom while her husband was alive.

In A Deadly Business Mia is still struggling with the adjustment to working full time, caring for her children alone and paying back the debts her husband left. What she doesn't need is more stress, more questions - so, of course, that's just what she gets.

With Detective Carlson wanting to look into Scott's death, a high profile decision resting on her shoulders and a not quite settled personal life, things aren't ready to calm down for Mia.

In the novel, the legal aspects are incredibly well done (Wiehl is a legal analyst and adjunct law school professor) and give it a feeling of authenticity. Mia's character counters the legal technicalities nicely. She knows the law and how things work, but it's her - in this confused new life of hers - that still has to interpret it, to make the hard decisions.

As with A Matter of Trust, the mystery, the whodunit is not, really, a great mystery. We don't wait for all of the pieces to finally come together at the end, instead seeing most of it earlier in the novel. There's enough question over exactly how it all comes together and how the characters will be affected that suspense remains.

The different storylines of Mia's case, the questions about her husband's death and her personal life all play together very well. Occurrences from one aspect of her life almost always have some sort of impact on or provide some sort of insight to something else in her life. This definitely reflects life, without any aha moments feeling forced or contrived. At times it did feel a little 'themey' with these characters, those characters, and, oh, them, too all talking about or exemplifying the same idea.

It worked in the first Mia Quinn book and it works here. Mia is such a relateable character and the different parts of her life all done so well that a few hiccups can be ignored.

Wiehl is also the author of a Christian fiction series and a bit more of that came into A Deadly Business. It was more through statements than things that happened or how characters acted. Still, it will be interesting to see if church, religion is even more present in the next book. As the mentions here seemed to stick out a bit and did not all add to the story, I do not exactly hope so.

I will be reading more of both Lis Wiehl and April Henry's (The Body in the Woods will be reviewed soon) solo novels and hope they continue writing together (their Triple Threat series is on my list).

Rating: 8/10

received from publisher through NetGalley for potential review; thank you

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