Review: SUSPECT by Scott Turow

What draws you to a book? Well for me, first off – the cover. And this one definitely caught my eye. Then when I saw the author’s name and the description, I knew I wanted to read it. Hot off the presses, Suspect released last week.

Description*

For as long as Lucia Gomez has been the police chief in the city of Highland Isle, near Kindle County, she has known that any woman in law enforcement must walk a precarious line between authority and camaraderie to gain respect.  She has maintained a spotless reputation—until now. Three male police officers have accused her of soliciting sex in exchange for promotions to higher ranks. With few people left who she can trust, Chief Gomez turns to an old friend, Rik Dudek, to act as her attorney in the federal grand jury investigation, insisting to Rik that the accusations against her are part of an ugly smear campaign designed to destroy her career and empower her enemies—both outside the police force and within…
 
Clarice “Pinky” Granum spent most of her youth experimenting with an impressive array of drugs and failing out of various professions, including the police academy. Pinky knows that in the eyes of most people, she’s nothing but a screwup—but she doesn’t trust most people’s opinions anyway. Moreover, she finally has a respectable-enough job as a licensed P.I. working for Rik on his roster of mostly minor cases, like workman’s comp, DUIs and bar fights. Rik’s shabby office and even shabbier cases are a far cry from the kinds of high-profile criminal matters Pinky became familiar with in the law office of her grandfather, Sandy Stern. But Rik and Pinky feel that Chief Gomez’s case, which has attracted national attention, is their chance to break into the legal big leagues.    
 
Guided by her gut instinct and razor-sharp investigative skills, Pinky dives headfirst into a twisted scandal that will draw her into the deepest recesses of the city’s criminal networks, as well as the human mind. But she will need every scrap of tenacity and courage to unravel the dark secrets those closest to her are determined to keep hidden.

*Cover and description as they appear on Amazon.

My Review

Although I have read several of this author’s previous works, this book caught me by surprise. The main character, Pinky, is a somewhat flaky young PI, with a nail through her nose and tatoos galore. Pinky is working in the family law office, where her boss is defending a female police chief who has been accused of forcing male officers to have sex with her. Despite her quirks, Pinky’s investigative instincts are good – even if her methods are a bit untraditional. And she lacks impulse control. She just does whatever comes to mind (not always realistic). Pinky is excited about the case and intrigued by her new neighbor, handsome of course, and does her best to investigate both at the same time.

It took me a while to warm up to Pinky (I cringed at every mention of that nail) and to get into the story. I also had trouble relating to Lucy (the alleged sex offender) not so much because of her actions in the past, but more because of her attitude and demeaner. Once I got further into the story, I enjoyed the book more as the plot took a circuitous route to its resolution, with more than one surprise in store for the reader. Overall, an engaging read that spotlights issues related to gender and law enforcement in today’s world.

FTC disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This has not affected the content of this review in any way.

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