A complex and thrilling debut
I usually find out about new books and new authors through fellow reviewers and readers. This one, however, came to my attention when Abby Craden tweeted about it. It’s a debut, another very exciting and promising debut.
Cait Reagan is a police detective working on a gruesome murder. Her boyfriend is somewhat involved and the way the two of them deal with the situation brings their incompatibility to the forefront. At the same time, Cait feels unexpectedly attracted to the victim’s employer, the mysterious Marcella Carson.
The crime arc is thrilling but being me, I’m as usual more interested in the characters’ journeys, in this case Cait’s. Realizing she’s not straight is only part of what changes in her life as the story progresses. Yeah, that’s an understatement. “How am I going to tell my mom?” applies to more than sexual orientation. The doubts, the unsettled feelings, the growth Cait goes through are skillfully detailed and go a long way into establishing her as a captivating character.
There’s a lot happening in this book, maybe too much. I don’t know if it’s on purpose – who doesn’t like a few twists? – or if it’s a – rather common – debut novel flaw. Either way, it at times felt like I was reading three books at once. I can’t decide whether it’s a problem or not. The pace is excellent and it kept me on my toes and yes, it was messy and chaotic but since that’s probably what the main character felt as well, it kinda works for me, especially in a first book in a series, where everything is new and part of the worldbuilding. I look forward to finding out how all of this evolves in books 2 and 3. Book 3, Green Rath, was just released, and the audiobook of Black Mirror will be out this winter, narrated by Abby Craden as well. 4 stars.