It should have been an open and shut murder case, but Mia Quinn finds out nothing about it is simple.
After a young Chinese prostitute is stabbed to death by her rich American client, the tabloids dub Dandan Yee "Lethal Beauty" -- despite the fact that she was the one who ended up dead. Yet even with double standards and naked prejudice working against her, Seattle prosecutor Mia Quinn is determined to get justice for Dandan Yee.
But when a key witness goes missing and an unsavory juror shuts down deliberations without explanation, Mia fears the trial -- and the law -- are being tampered with.
A constellation of fresh killings have Mia homicide detective Charles Carlson searching for a common source and puts Mia's family in the crosshairs of a Chinese crime cabal. Meanwhile, Dandan Yee's mother has opted to take matters into her own hands...and the stakes get more lethal overnight.
In the midst of all this, Mia has to contend with a fifteen-year-old son who is growing up too fast for his own good, and the idea that Charlie might want to be more than just friends. Can Mia and Charlie stop the murders and still keep her family safe? Or is the very act of seeking justice enough to cost her everything -- and everyone -- she loves?
A legal thriller that's sure to keep you turning pages. It opens with riveting courtroom scenes that showcase Mia's talent as a prosecutor and her heart as a justice seeker. And even though a legal setting is foreign to me, Wiehl does a great job of capturing the environment without burdening the reader in technicalities. Put me in mind of Erin Reagan from the TV show Blue Bloods if that's a helpful reference for you.
I love Mia's gumption and determination to fight for what's right. She doesn't understand the meaning of the word 'quit', which leads to unexpected danger and enough intrigue to keep this armchair sleuth in a tizzy of expectation. The author approaches the topic of human trafficking with relentless honesty. I appreciate the fact that she didn't sensationalize the topic. It's real and raw but never explicit.
While there isn't a romance thread, I feel like a foundation is being laid for future books. Mia has two men waiting in the wings, though she's made it perfectly clear that she's only interested in friendship. I have a clear preference but time will tell if I'm right. And this is a good place to note that Lethal Beauty is the third book in the Mia Quinn Mysteries series. Some things carry over from book to book, especially where Mia's personal life is concerned, but the author does a fantastic job of writing in the backstory in such a way that a new-to-the-series reader won't have any problem starting with this one.
While the first books were missing an inspirational thread, this one has the beginnings of one that I think will become more profound as the series continues. Mia is a woman who likes to be in control but as things begin to unravel at an alarming rate she begins to toy with a profound thought: "But maybe that was what prayers were for, to make you realize you had no control, to make you let go of the notion that you controlled your destiny. Maybe the future was best appraoched on your knees."
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Lethal Beauty please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 31 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!