Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters in page turning story
Cons: I see no reason to list cons
The Bottom Line:
And suspect hits close to home
Page turning story
Plenty of Reasons to Read This Book
When I heard the premise of the latest Carol Childs Mystery, I was immediately hooked. Okay, so it helps that I've enjoyed the first four books in Nancy Cole Silverman's series, but this one seemed to have lots of promise to it, and Reason to Doubt delivered.
For those who haven't met her, Carol Childs is a radio reporter located in Los Angeles. She's a single mother, with a daughter in college and a son in his teens. As this book opens, Cate is home for the summer from college, and she's returned with a young man. Pete is a photographer, and his shoots take him all over, which is why Cate met him down in San Diego even though he is living in Los Angeles. Carol isn't so sure she likes the young man, but she can't put her finger on why.
Things take a dramatic turn when the police arrest Pete as the Model Slayer. That's the name given to a serial killer who has been killing models in the area over the last seven months, a story that Carol has been breaking. Naturally, this means she is front and center for his arrest and arraignment, something that drives a wedge between Carol and Cate. Cate, naturally, is insisting that Pete is innocent. Carol is inclined to agree with Cate, and a phone call she gets at the station makes her even more certain that Pete is innocent. But what if she's wrong? Can Carol find the truth?
This series has always flirted with the line between cozy and traditional. After all, it's rare that we have a serial killer in a cozy mystery. Likewise, a few of the plot points here get into some areas we don't see in typical cozies. Just be aware of that when you pick up this book. It may be a shade of gray, but it is still several shades away from the heavier PI and police procedural books.
And you definitely should pick up this book. The plot starts out quickly and it never lets go. Between Cate's involvement with the police's prime suspect and some other twists, this one hits very close to home for Carol, and those personal stakes helped make the book hard to put down. The plot includes some great twists and surprises before we reach a suspenseful climax. Trust me, you won't be able to get through the pages fast enough to find out what is truly happening.
We have really only seen Cate in one other book in the series, but it was nice to see her again here. While I found her annoying at times, I did like how having her so involved in this mystery brought out another side of Carol. Meanwhile, Carol's love life continues to be complicated, and I found those complications fun. We see plenty of the other series regulars, and they help enrich Carol's world. Throw in some great suspects, and you've got a strong cast of characters.
Reason to Doubt delivers another fast moving, enjoyable mystery. Whether you've been following Carol's career since book one or are just now finding her, it will definitely leave you wanting to read more.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Carol Childs Mysteries in order.
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