Theresa MacLean is a forensic investigator. She is also an overprotective mother to a teenage daughter. She thought her daughter would be safe working for the summer at a downtown hotel until there’s a murder on the premises. It doesn’t help that the murder victim is a defense attorney that the local police department loved to hate. Why this hotel? Why this attorney? Why no defensive wounds? These questions are asked and answered in the latest suspense novel by Lisa Black, Defensive Wounds.
Being a single mom can be exasperating, and Theresa understands that she has a tendency to go overboard at times. Her daughter was nowhere near the murder site but she’s still overly cautious and wary. It doesn’t help that she knows nothing about Rachel’s new love interest. Theresa’s interest is further peaked when her friend, another defense attorney, has a suspicious and curious reaction to the teenager. Theresa then asks her cousin, a police detective, to check into the boy’s background. Isn’t that what family connections are for?
Theresa must still continue her forensic investigation but trying to find evidence in a hotel room is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack blindfolded. Just when she thinks she’s the original hovering mother, there are two more murders. By now, Theresa is frustrated because of the mounds of forensic evidence to be looked at from the hotel. If there’s a ton of evidence from the hotel, there’s also a ton of suspects to be considered. One suspect is a former police officer that is currently working as the head of security at the hotel.
On the personal front, Theresa must field interest from one of the investigating detectives. She also learns that Rachel’s prospective boyfriend has a record . . . for murder. He was found not guilty and said that he doesn’t remember that night, but what really happened? He doesn’t know and the dead girl cannot speak for herself? The evidence points to him, or does it? What follows is an investigation that keeps the reader on tenterhooks. The investigation is like a roller-coaster ride in the dark, the twists and turns kept me on edge because I never saw what was coming next.
I enjoyed reading Defensive Wounds and completely understood that Theresa is the primary character, but since I have family on the police department I also know that forensic investigators don’t generally play such a primary role in investigations and interrogations. Removing that little problem from the equation, Defensive Wounds is a great suspense read. I found myself feeling for Theresa as she worried about Rachel and sympathetic when she mourned the loss of her friend. (I also rather enjoyed the possible play on words as “defensive wounds” may refer to the lack of defensive wounds on the murder victims as well as the wounds they inflicted on victim families as defense attorneys.) If you’re looking for a procedural suspense to read with a strong female character and an emphasis on evidence, then look no further.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from Library Thing’s Early Reviewers Program. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”