Jan Grape is best known for writing short stories and editing mystery anthologies. AUSTIN CITY BLUE is her first novel and hopefully, the beginning of a promising new series.
Zoe Barrow is a member of the Austin Police Department currently assigned to working desk duty at her local precinct. A few days ago she was attending a sports event at a local arena when she heard the call requesting police backup. Officer Barrow went to the scene and found two officers wounded at the hand of a single perpetrator. When the suspect starts to make a move she shoots him even though she is not aware of his identity. A few moments later she learns that he was Jesse Garcia the man responsible of putting her husband in a coma.
Zoe does not trust her feelings. She is not sure if she shot Garcia out of doing her duty or just plain revenge. It does not help that she is confined to office work and the people at Internal Affairs are getting on her case. She manages to get distracted from all that when Avery Peppard, a friend of her husband, comes to her asking for help. He believes his wife is having an affair with a cop and that they are plotting to kill him. She does not know what she can do for him so she helps him find Jason Foxx, a private detective, to help him. It is not until an informant with a connection to Peppard is found murdered in a motel room that Zoe decides to get involved.
Ms. Grape writes a good novel that is heavy in character development. Zoe is a conflicted woman who is torn between what she knows and what she believes. She loves he husband very much but he has been in a coma for a long time. She is attracted to Foxx but does not want to betray her husband. The story is fairly good with several red herrings placed throughout the novel. The author leaves the door open for another book and it will nice to learn more about the life of Zoe.