Monday, May 11, 2015

book review: A Good Killing by Allison Leotta

The backstory: This spring I've flown through all of Allison Leotta's Anna Curtis series, starting with her debut mystery Law of Attraction, and continuing with the e-short story Ten Rules for a Call Girl, and the novels Discretion, and Speak of the Devil. With this week's publication of A Good Killing, I'm left waiting for Leotta to write more and pondering which mystery series I'll dig into next.

The basics: A Good Killing opens shortly after the events of Speak of the Devil. A frantic phone call from a friend in Anna's Michigan hometown alerting Anna to the death of their town's beloved football couch. Her sister, Jody, is the lead suspect. Anna flees for Holly Grove to help Jody and escape the chaos of her life.

My thoughts: A Good Killing is a departure from the earlier Anna Curtis novels in many ways. I'm so glad Leotta changed things up with this novel, given the state of Anna's life in D.C. Perhaps the timing was convenient, but it works. Anna and her sister Jody share narration duties. I was confused at first, as it took me a few pages to realize Jody was narrating from her high school years. Jody's narration is aimed at Anna directly, for reasons that become clear later.

Anna has often struggled to understand lawyers who work as defense attorneys, and I appreciated seeing her struggle with being on the other side. I'm curious to see how this experience shapes her perspective in cases going forward. Many of the courtroom scenes were written similarly to Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller books; Leotta explains the why and how without breaking up the momentum and drama of the trial itself.

Favorite passage: "We tend to rise or sink toward others' expectations of us. It takes a lot of conscious will not to."

The verdict: A Good Killing is a departure for Anna Curtis and Allison Leotta. I loved seeing Detroit through Anna's eyes, and I enjoyed seeing her work as a defense attorney. The mystery wasn't as surprising as I might have hoped, but Leotta's skillful incorporation of so many relevant sub-plots more than made up for it. A Good Killing will keep me thinking about many of the social issues it addresses.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 320 pages
Publication date: May 12, 2015
Source: publisher

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy A Good Killing from Amazon (Kindle edition.) Better yet: start with Law of Attraction. Buy it from Amazon (Kindle edition.)

Want more? Visit Allison Leotta's websitelike her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

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1 comment:

  1. I want to read this series soon. Good to hear that you've been pleased with all of it. And I am looking forward to it!


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