Perish – Lisa Black
I received this novel as an ARC, in exchange for an objective review. This is book 3 in a three-part series, and I have not (yet) read the other two. First off, I’d suggest reading them in their proper order. As a reader new to the characters, it became readily apparent that I’d missed some significant details, reveals, and interactions between these characters in the prior novels. However, if read as a stand-alone, the missing details are implied and become clearer as the story progresses.
Maggie Gardiner is a forensic scientist who works for the Cleveland PD. Jack Renner is a homicide detective, whom Maggie works closely with, as they investigate crime scenes. However, only known to Maggie, (presumably due to the events of the prior novels) is the fact that Jack has some “Dexter-like” qualities, which he utilizes on occasion to ensure that the proper suspect is stopped however necessary.
As this story unfolds, Maggie & Jack are called to an apparent homicide in a wealthy district in town. As the investigation unfolds, their victim is discovered to be the owner of a less than honest financial company, specializing in predatory loans, complete with falsified paperwork and creative bookkeeping. When a second woman from the office is found killed in a similar fashion, the investigation shifts to those who have lost homes or have expressed outrage and vengeance towards the company. When a third victim is discovered, also with a link to the company – but as an investigator of the company itself – the detectives are stymied as to who might have anything to gain by the killings. As the investigation continues, Maggie finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer – but is it an unknown entity – or someone close to her wanting to preserve her silence???
I struggled a bit with the first third of the book, as I am not financially minded at all, and much of the ‘set-up’ of the story had to do with explanations of mortgage lending, CDO’s, predatory lending, variable rates, etc. While I found that to be a bit dry, I also learned a lot, and plan to try to learn some more. (The author also includes a list of her references in the acknowledgements.) Once those explanations are made (to the detectives) which sets up motive for the investigation, I could not put the book down.
A good read, and I will be reading the two prior books as well to gain more insight into this duo!!