Review: The Perfect Suspect by Margaret Coel

September 1, 2011 Berkley Prime Crime, Crime Fiction, Review, Thriller 3

  • Hardcover:304 pages
  • Publisher:Berkley Hardcover (September 6, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0425243486
  • Source: Xuni

David Matthews, a widely popular candidate for Colorado’s governor seat is found murdered. Obviously, his death receives all sorts of news coverage. His wife, Sydney, becomes an immediate suspect.  Matthews was known to be unfaithful; perhaps Sydney finally got tired of his wandering ways?

Catherine McLeod, a reporter for the Denver Journal has done a number of articles on Matthews. She receives an anonymous phone call from a woman who claims to have been a witness to the murder.  The woman is afraid to contact the police, for the murderer is one of their own.  Catherine must but her job, and her life, on the line in order to bring the true perpetrator to justice.

The reader knows within the first few lines who Matthew’s killer is: Detective Ryan Beckman.  Beckman & Matthews were having an affair, but when Matthews attempted to put a stop to it, Ryan lost all control and killed him. Ironically, it is Beckman who is asked to lead the investigation.  She goes out of her way to plant and create evidence to incriminate Matthew’s wife as the guilty party.

The Perfect Suspect is an thrilling, heart-pounding chase to see which woman will come out on top. As Catherine attempts to uncover witnesses to bring Ryan to justice, Ryan hunts down these same witnesses to kill them. While the reader already knows the murderer’s identity, this doesn’t alter the reader’s experience in any way. I guarantee your heart will still be pounding, you’ll be tearing through the pages to learn what happens.

While The Perfect Suspect is technically the second book in a series, readers will have no difficulty in picking up the story due to the author providing detailed backstory.  I appreciate that the two main characters are both incredibly strong and determined women; it’s too bad one of them was a heartless killer.

While there were aspects of the book that were a bit unbelievable for me, I still found it to be quite the enjoyable read.  I do plan on picking up the first book in this series, Blood Memory, so I can learn more about Catherine’s character.  Coel is definitely an author to watch; I can’t wait to read more of her work. Recommended.

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