You have to have your wits about you when you read this novel. Contrary to what the rather gothic-toned cover would have you believe – this is a modern, action-packed thriller where the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ are clearly defined.
The novel’s protagonist is thirty-seven year old Julia Gooden, a seasoned crime reporter in the crime-ridden city of Detroit, Michigan. The mother of two young boys, she is separated from her attorney husband, David Tanner, though at the beginning of this novel they are attempting a reconciliation. She is beautiful and very fit due to her passion for running. It is usual for Julia to run ten miles in the morning before leaving for work.
Nick Rossi is a kingpin in Detroit organized crime and now heads a vast and powerful illegal empire. He deals a lot of his ‘business’ at the lush Detroit MGM Grand Hotel. The local police and even the FBI have had him in their sights for years. Julia’s husband David is now in the process of prosecuting Rossi in a huge trial which has the power to make or break his career and his aspiration to be a District Attorney.
Navarro is a Detroit cop. Long ago he and Julia had a relationship and as far as Navarro is concerned she is the ‘one that got away‘. Though he cares for Julia still, he will not divulge the name of the surprise witness against Rossi. Knowing who this witness is could be a tremendous coup for her journalistic career.
Knowing that David and Navarro are unwilling to help her get her story, she uses her myriad other contacts that she has built up over her years in Detroit, however she is scooped by a rival journalist. The day that the mystery witness is brought to the courthouse, there is a tragic bombing which kills the witness as well as several bystanders and gravely injures the judge and Julia’s husband, David.
Believing Rossi to be responsible for the bombing, now Julia’s fight against Rossi and his minions is personal, and she will go to any lengths to bring him to justice.
Her investigations are aided by Navarro and the more they find out, the muddier the case seems to get – and the more dangerous it is to Julia and her young sons.
A fast-paced novel, “Duplicity” is well named. Duplicitous behavior is prevalent, making apprehending the guilty problematic. As well as duplicity, this is a novel of hard core corruption, lies, and betrayal. Thankfully, the ending rewards the reader by tying things up quite well. I enjoyed the read, though found some of the action scenes rather ‘over the top’. And the gangsters? Well, they were just SO evil with absolutely no humanity showing at all… Almost like caricatures of how criminals should be. Julia’s character was well rendered, but even she was just a little too ‘perfect’ to be quite believable. But then, this is fiction! “Duplicity” delivers a tension-filled roller coaster read for all who enjoy action-packed crime thrillers.
It has been described by the publisher as #2 in the Julia Gooden mystery series. I’d say it is more of a thriller than a mystery, but that is just my opinion. Although Navarro and his coworkers are police, this is not really a police procedural either. Most of the time Navarro has little contact with his superiors – almost as if he is calling the shots… If anyone is interested in reading the first Julia Gooden novel, the title is “The last time she saw him“.
Don’t let the fact that it is the second book in a series deter you from reading it. I have not read the first novel in the series and I can attest that it works very well as a stand-alone. It is a curious mixture of political thriller, romantic suspense, and gangster story. A page-turner for sure, with SO much action and adrenaline inducing scenes that you’ll feel as though you’ve just watched a “Die Hard” movie. For that reason I think this novel will have a strong appeal for audiences of both sexes.
it is available for purchase at the following retail booksellers
I received a complimentary digital copy of the novel from the Kensington Publishers via TLC Book Tours. I chose to review it on my blog.
This review is part of a TLC Book Tour!
Tuesday, March 28th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Thursday, March 30th: My Journey Back
Thursday, March 30th: Just Commonly
Friday, March 31st: Fictionophile
Monday, April 3rd: Tina Says…
Tuesday, April 4th: Sara the Introvert
Wednesday, April 5th: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, April 6th: Clues & Reviews
Friday, April 7th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, April 10th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, April 11th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, April 12th: The Cactus Chronicles
Thursday, April 13th: Why Girls Are Weird
Friday, April 14th: Staircase Wit
Tuesday, April 18th: Girl Who Reads
Friday, April 21st: The Suspense Is Thrilling Me
Jane Haseldine is a journalist, former crime reporter, columnist, newspaper editor, magazine writer, and deputy director of communications for a governor. Jane graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in journalism. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two sons, but previously lived in Boston, San Francisco, New York, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. You can find her at janehaseldine.com, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.