Review of ‘In harm’s way’ by EJ Kindred
This was a good lesbian debut novel by Kindred. In fact, if I didn’t know this was a debut I don’t think I would have realized it because the writing felt solid with much fewer bumps than we normally see. This book was an interesting twist of mystery and family drama. I liked the mix and thought it worked well. While this is a murder mystery and there is some violence, this book is not heavy or gory. I would not really call this a cozy mystery but you could almost put it in that category.
After one of the worst periods of Annie’s life, she finds herself under suspicion for murder. To recover and put some distance from the detectives who suspect her, Annie gets a job as a housekeeper in a small town outside of Portland. When Annie stumbles upon a body, she realizes her life is about to get even messier. I just want to mention that I believe the book’s blurb gives away too much information. This being a mystery was enough to get me to want to read this so I only skimmed the blurb. I was glad I didn’t know whose body Annie found or who she was accused of killing until I read that part in the book. I would suggest if you are interested in reading this don’t read the blurb or just skim so those parts are a surprise to you too.
While this is a mystery I liked that this book was about Annie and her past that is still deeply affecting her. From her lawyer who tries to keep her out of trouble, to the detective that suspects her, Annie seems to have not much luck at all. I thought Kindred did a great job of the cast of characters surrounding Annie. You have her family which includes a motorcycling grandmother, plus her friends who might not be the best influences but are always there for her. This story is told in first person from Annie’s perspective so I thought it was a big plus to have a bunch of well written secondary characters.
Since Annie is not a detective or even amateur P.I., this is not a mystery that you follow clue after clue to get to the killer. I thought the way Kindred handled the mystery worked for the type of book it was. There were also a few exciting scenes that I enjoyed so I was happy about that.
I do want to mention that there is no romance in this book. Annie is a lesbian and there were maybe two other lesbian characters that I could maybe see something happening with but nothing did. There is not a drop of romance not even a kiss in this book. This book does look to be the first of a series. In fact, while the main story was tied up, there is a big loose end left open so I’m glad that there may be a book 2. I’m wondering if we might see a romance in the sequel with one of the two women or maybe someone new.
If you are looking for a murder mystery story that isn’t too heavy or violent, this would be a good choice. I thought Kindred wrote a good debut and I would not hesitate to read whatever she puts out next. 3.75 Stars.
A copy was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.