Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Crime Thriller with Heat

Justice in June by Barbara Levenson
(Adult Legal Thriller)

Another hot summer crime thriller!  Why is it that summer is the best time to indulge in this type of book?  Lazing on the beach or by the pool, I almost feel criminal as I read another thriller steeped in murder and mystery.  Perhaps it’s because only a cliff-hanger can bring me up from my sun-induced coma.  For the next few days, I have some new crime/detective stories to review.  Which one will be right for you?

If you are a fan of Janet Evanovich and her fictional character, Stephanie Plum, then this is a book and series you will enjoy.   Justice in June is the second installment of this series; the first was Fatal February.  (Random thought:  why did we skip so many months?  Why not Marauding March, Anarchistic April, Maniacal May?) 
Mary Katz Magruder is our lead ‘detective’ and is a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Miami.  In this book, Mary has been hired to defend the friend-of-friend-of-a-friend of her Cuban boyfriend, Carlos.  While originally thinking the young man’s arrest was perhaps a simple language or cultural misunderstanding, Mary is disturbed when it turns into an international incident with ties to Guantanamo Bay and dirty dealings in the local courthouse with a very powerful judge.  At the same time, she is hired by another judge to defend her from the allegations of misuse of power.

With two new cases on such a large and complicated scale, Mary is frantic the entire book through, trying to unravel the two cases and then to discover their common threads.
I really enjoyed this new series.  As I stated earlier, it reminds of me of Stephanie Plum, albeit without the boozing, cursing and philandering.  I found Mary Katz Magruder to be a much more likable character than Plum.  Her life is just complicated enough to enjoy from afar and just spicy enough to keep me turning the pages.  The plot was intricate but not so detailed that I couldn’t follow it lying by the pool listening to kids screaming in the background. 

The love interest of Carlos was probably the best part of escapism for me.  A hot, millionaire Cuban boyfriend pressuring her to get serious but also willing to follow every whim, wine and dine her and also fiercely protect her?  Sign me up for that package!
All in all, a pleasant diversion and one that I wouldn’t mind delving into again as the summer heat spikes. 

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