Samantha Kincaid has been working as a Deputy District Attorney for the last three years when she takes on a case that might make or break her. 13-year-old Kendra Martin is a heroin addict who prostitutes to support her addiction. She has been found sexually assaulted and left for dead. Despite the victim's circumstances she delivers a quite good witness statement and is able to identify one of the two culprits. The man she identified is Frank Derringer, who has been released on parole after sexually assaulting a young girl. His fingerprint is found on Kendra's purse, his car suspiciously has been overpainted and overhauled from the inside the day after Kendra's assault.
It seems to Samantha that she's got the case in the bag and Derringer might as well admit of what he did. Unfortunately during a fast trial the defense smashes each and every evidence Samantha has gathered and even opens up to compare Kendra's assault to a case a few years ago where the suspects have been trialed and sent onto death row.
With her personal romantic relationship to an in both cases involved detective Samantha is taken from the case but her mind doesn't rest. What is it that she didn't notice the first time around ? Something is nagging in the back of her brain and she has to figure it out fast before Frank Derringer and presumably his brother Derrick get away.
One thing is for sure, readers who read Burke's two novels of the Ellie Hatcher series (Dead Connection
and Angel's Tips
) almost won't recognize the same author in the first few chapters of this book. It gave me a hard time to focus on all the maneuverings around the case. However after the first initial "shock" I got into it. As always what Burke writes makes sense to the reader and she closes the book with no open questions.
Characters however felt surprisingly short which might as well be the result of the first person telling by Samantha herself. Being the first published book of hers I certainly cut her some slack and found the book quite good for a first publication.
Knowing Alafair Burke I'll sure read the following books in the Kincaid series. I'll trust they will be better than her debut novel.