A homicide investigator discovers the mangled body of a young woman—who happens to be the daughter of his close friends. Hiding his conflicts of interest, he searches for her killer, uncovering multiple motives, dark secrets, and conspiracies targeting her wealthy parents.
With a personal life falling apart, Atlanta homicide detective Jeff Strickland is going through the motions. Numb to the murders he investigates, when a bludgeoned body is discovered in a field, he expects it to be another routine killing. To his horror, the victim is the teenaged daughter of his close friends.
Strickland saw Kanya as the daughter he never had. Like many teens, she was attracted to the city’s streets, but he never imagined she would meet such a violent death.
Desperate to find her killer, he breaks department rules and throws himself into the case, uncovering multiple plots, motives, and lies. Was it a love affair gone wrong? A scheme striking her prominent family? Or something else?
Frustrated by a lack of evidence and with Kanya’s killer targeting him, Strickland must uncover the truth before he becomes the next victim. But as circumstances unfold and lives begin to unravel, he might find answers that he didn’t want.
Available for purchase and review at:
(this book was previously released as Partners In Crime)
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Take a Xanax Before Reading the Last 10 Chapters
If you love the thrill of a good crime story coupled with the voice of an emerging writer, the debut novel “Partners in Crime” by James Reid is sure to impress. I met the author in 2013 through a professional organization we are both members of and I couldn’t be happier for him. The plot centers around Jefferson Strickland, an Atlanta-based detective, and the daily shadows of his professional accomplishments and personal shortcomings. As if his life isn’t tumultuous enough, the horrific and untimely death of daughter-figure, Kanya, threatens both his job and livelihood with an ending most would not expect.
The progression of the novel is fluid and strategically planned with 59 relatively short chapters. There is a clear story arc and by the end, all major storylines and loose ends are resolved. Throughout various parts of the novel, there is an informative tone that explains various procedures and processes in handling criminal/homicide investigations. This is in part to Reid’s personal experience with the homicide of a close relative and researching many aspects of what it takes to successfully close an investigation. While I understand the reasoning behind this, at times it feels too descriptive, even though it adds context and lengthens the paragraphs.
My sole issue with the novel, which I eventually get over, is the characterization of Kanya: the Asian-American daughter-figure to which Strickland is emotionally attached. With the novel set throughout Metropolitan Atlanta (a chocolate-city alternate) and various innuendos that Strickland himself is not Asian (but African/“blank-something-blank”,) it strikes me as interesting that Reid chose to highlight her story above all others. Kanya has an “ethnic” nickname, uses urban vernacular, and associates in predominately black settings: things that scream her character probably should be black. The issues that she faces throughout the novel would do wonders to eradicate or at least spotlight the cultural assault that women of color, more specifically black women, experience both internally and externally. I could have discussions on this topic alone, but that is for another day. In no way am I insinuating that black authors solely report on black issues, only have black characters, or that they can’t have the freedom of artistic license. I accept the author’s position and was merely expressing my opinion.
Overall, “Partners in Crime” is a very strong and believable read and I look forward to future additions in the series.
-Alysia Tubbs (@amtubbs8)
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Thanks for sharing!