The author’s bona fides are evident from the first page of this, her fourth novel, and the second in the Josie Corsino series: Connie Dial had 27 years of varied experience as a member of the LAPD, including undercover work, narcotics detective, Internal Affairs surveillance officer, watch commander and captain. And her protagonist, Josie Corsino, is an LAPD captain, trying to juggle that demanding job with that of wife and mother, and not always succeeding. After 20 years in the DA’s office, her husband, Jake, had just made partner in his new law firm, and the friction in their marriage is mounting. The tension includes her relationship with her 23-year-old son, still dependent on his parents for support, now involved with a woman Connie’s age.
In the opening pages, Kyle Richards, a sergeant Josie had appointed to supervise a burglary task force in Hollywood division, is involved in a fatal shooting. When it is discovered that the dead man was a fellow police officer, after over 20 years on the job, Kyle is faced with a hearing and a possible suspension until it can be proven that it was a justified shooting. Added to the fact that the dead cop was a black man, and Richards white, the political implications make every aspect of the investigation more difficult. With the help of her best friend, vice lieutenant Marge Bailey, and Detective “Red” Behan, Josie goes out on a limb to prove his innocence in the matter. Things only get more complex when another killing occurs, and Connie believes the two events are connected. The novel elucidates the theme that “perception most of the time was more important than truth in the world of policing. A good reputation was difficult to tarnish; a bad reputation whether it was deserved or not was indelible.”
This was a well-plotted tale. I have to admit feeling that the writing could have been more polished, but the novel held my interest throughout, and I will look forward to reading the next chapter in Josie Corsino’s life....Continua