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Duplicity (A Julia Gooden Mystery) Kindle Edition
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The novel’s protagonist is thirty-seven year old Julia Gooden, a seasoned crime reporter in the crime-ridden city of Detroit, Michigan. The mother of two young boys, she is separated from her attorney husband, David Tanner, though at the beginning of this novel they are attempting a reconciliation. She is beautiful and very fit due to her passion for running. It is usual for Julia to run ten miles in the morning before leaving for work.
Nick Rossi is a kingpin in Detroit organized crime and now heads a vast and powerful illegal empire. He deals a lot of his ‘business’ at the lush Detroit MGM Grand Hotel. The local police and even the FBI have had him in their sights for years. Julia’s husband David is now in the process of prosecuting Rossi in a huge trial which has the power to make or break his career and his aspiration to be a District Attorney.
Navarro is a Detroit cop. Long ago he and Julia had a relationship and as far as Navarro is concerned she is the ‘one that got away‘. Though he cares for Julia still, he will not divulge the name of the surprise witness against Rossi. Knowing who this witness is could be a tremendous coup for her journalistic career.
Knowing that David and Navarro are unwilling to help her get her story, she uses her myriad other contacts that she has built up over her years in Detroit, however she is scooped by a rival journalist. The day that the mystery witness is brought to the courthouse, there is a tragic bombing which kills the witness as well as several bystanders and gravely injures the judge and Julia’s husband, David.
Believing Rossi to be responsible for the bombing, now Julia’s fight against Rossi and his minions is personal, and she will go to any lengths to bring him to justice.
Her investigations are aided by Navarro and the more they find out, the muddier the case seems to get – and the more dangerous it is to Julia and her young sons.
A fast-paced novel, “Duplicity” is well named. Duplicitous behavior is prevalent, making apprehending the guilty problematic. As well as duplicity, this is a novel of hard core corruption, lies, and betrayal. Thankfully, the ending rewards the reader by tying things up quite well. I enjoyed the read, though found some of the action scenes rather ‘over the top’. And the gangsters? Well, they were just SO evil with absolutely no humanity showing at all… Almost like caricatures of how criminals should be. Julia’s character was well rendered, but even she was just a little too ‘perfect’ to be quite believable. But then, this is fiction! “Duplicity” delivers a tension-filled roller coaster read for all who enjoy action-packed crime thrillers.
It has been described by the publisher as #2 in the Julia Gooden mystery series. I’d say it is more of a thriller than a mystery, but that is just my opinion. Although Navarro and his coworkers are police, this is not really a police procedural either. Most of the time Navarro has little contact with his superiors – almost as if he is calling the shots… If anyone is interested in reading the first Julia Gooden novel, the title is “The last time she saw him“.
Don’t let the fact that it is the second book in a series deter you from reading it. I have not read the first novel in the series and I can attest that it works very well as a stand-alone. It is a curious mixture of political thriller, romantic suspense, and gangster story. A page-turner for sure, with SO much action and adrenaline inducing scenes that you’ll feel as though you’ve just watched a “Die Hard” movie. For that reason I think this novel will have a strong appeal for audiences of both sexes.
Julia is still trying to repair her fractured relationship with her assistant district attorney husband. She's determined to work things out if it ends up being what's best for their two young children. Things between them are going very well. They're soon thrown together in their professional lives as well as she covers a major trial that David is the prosecutor for. He firmly resists her attempts to get inside info on the major player on trial, but he's not her only source... the story is coming along when tragedy strikes. A bomb at the court house explodes, killing several adults and children. By chance, Julia wasn't there, but her husband David was. He lays in the hospital unconscious while Julia works on figuring out who is responsible and how it may relate to the initial case. This is the beginning of a wild and dangerous ride... for Julia, and others close to her. She thinks career criminal Rossi is behind it, and won't stop until she helps bring whoever is responsible to justice.
I received an ARC of this novel from Net Galley and Kensington Books, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased
Review I received a free copy of the book via Netgalley.
I wasn't sweet on this at the beginning; the tense and the writing being very odd for me and not something I am accustomed to. However, the more I read, the more I invested in the story.
Julia Gooden is covering the trial of Nick Rossi, a gang lord who is accused of many crimes, which her husband is prosecuting. On the first day of the trial there is a bomb that kills the key witness and severely injures her husband. Gooden then tries to find evidence that Rossi is behind the attack so he can finally be put behind bars.
I devoured this book and I found it a very easy read in the end. It is not as gritty as many other crime novels, but did have many twists and turns that kept me engaged.
There were a few reasons why this did not score a 5 for me: blatant sexual harassment that is ignored and accepted as the norm (not cool), many unbelievable elements of the story (e.g. the rapper remembering exact distances, co-ordinates etc of a map he saw once ages ago), and the ending which made no sense considering Isabella's confession.
I will read the next in the series (if there is one) as I enjoyed the characters.
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