DYING TO KILL: An Angel Delaney Mystery
Patricia H. Rushford
Angel Delaney has been having a rough year --- and it's not over yet. After tragically losing her first partner and later shooting to death her first perpetrator, the young Sunset Cove police officer is taking some time off to sort things out. And what better place to heal than in the small town atmosphere at the foot of the Coastal Mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean, taking daily runs on the beach, lunching with friends and daydreaming about her handsome boyfriend, Det. Callen Riley. But all is not as peaceful as it seems and Angel soon finds herself in the middle of a crime wave, family discord, and conflict with her co-workers on the police force.
It all begins when Candace Kelsey, the victim in a domestic violence call that Angel had once answered, phones and begs her to come right over. Despite her own problems, the good neighbor and trained cop in Angel cannot refuse. Apparently, Candace's abusive husband has shot himself and Candace, being the victimized wife she is, dutifully cleaned up the mess to keep her home spotless, "The way Phillip expects it to be." Even to the untrained eye, this looks more like a murder than a suicide and the police immediately select Candace as the most likely suspect. Angel is convinced that Candace did not do it and gets her a lawyer, Rachael Rastovski. Then Rachael hires Angel to help her investigate the murder and prove Candace's innocence.
Suspects abound as Angel uncovers many who are not saddened by the death of Phillip Kelsey. While working unofficially allows her a bit more freedom to investigate, her findings often put her at odds with longtime friends on the force who see her as interfering.
Patricia Rushford pulls together many themes in this complex tale that examines domestic violence, guilt, fear and love. She uses interesting techniques that allow the reader to access clues as the detectives work to solve the mystery. And she raises questions regarding revenge and resolution that may or may not be answered satisfactorily.
DYING TO KILL is an altogether well written and satisfying tale, with enough surprises to keep even the most expert mystery fans guessing right up to the last ten pages.
--- Reviewed by Maggie Harding, a substance abuse counselor in Phoenix, AZ who wanted to be Brenda Starr before life intervened. She also reviews for www.bookreporter.com and www.womenonwriting.com. To contact Maggie, e-mail Magster2@cox.net.
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