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This is the second in a crime/police series about Dectective Lexie Rogers set in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney written by Karen M Davies. Karen's 20 year experience in the police force makes this series very authentic and believable.
During six years as a uniformed cop, Lexie Rogers has reached her career objective - to be a plain clothes detective. To get there she experienced a lot of terrible things, including being stabbed and left for dead by a member of a violent bikie gang and at the end of the first book in the series, SINISTER INTENT she was shot when facing up to a couple of renegade cops. She relives these incidents daily. On top of all of this she has been through a divorce and lost her brother, also a policeman, who was killed when he was on duty.
While Lexie is facing up to all of this the final blow came when her professional partner, Josh Harrison walks out on their close and loving personal relationship when his sister commits suicide. Josh should have been the tough one but he takes leave, goes to Bali and drowns his sorrows in a constant alcoholic binge.
Lexie is back with her first professional partner DS Brad Sommers when they are called to a bizarre possible suicide when a young woman is found near to Clovelly Beach holding a single red rose. When the body is turned Lexie sees a small very recognisable tatoo which she has seen recently on a woman in a bar. What stuns her is that the woman was with her ex-husband Zak who soon becomes one of the main suspects.
There are soon many suspects when they find out that the murdered woman, Melissa McDermott, a nurse from the UK was a very big party girl and extremely promiscuous. The case turns into a murder investigation when the pathologist finds a single needle wound in her neck.The case deepens when the Pathologist also comments that she had seen a another possible suicide recently with a similar puncture in her neck.
Once again Karen Davis shows us her considerable inside knowledge of the dynamics of the force and the different types of officers - the young, the aggressive, the old and weary, the predators etc. - who have to work together on a difficult case. They again have their range of unusual nicknames - Cakes, Batman and even Amazing Grace. She also gives us an insight into undercover work, especially for those who choose to work undercover for years and have to take on the persona of the people they are investigating.
All in all another it was a good authentic police/crime thriller but it didn't have the same impact on me as the first book in the series, probably because I guessed the killer early in the book and felt the reactions of Josh to his sister's death was over done and Lexie's reactions on his return were a somewhat unbelievable.
I started reading this book first and quickly realised that, although it can be read as a standalone, there were some personal dynamics from the first book that I would miss. So I put it aside and read SINISTER INTENT first and I'm glad I did. This book was an enjoyable and page-turning read and I look forward to other books in the series.