Title: A Deadly Business: A Mia Quinn Mystery ****
Author: Liz Wiehl (with April Henry)
Published by: Thomas Nelson, 2014
Author Liz Wiehl, with April Henry, wrote a previous, gripping series titled The Triple Threat Series, which I truly enjoyed--the first two books more than the third, which got a bit too creepy, for me. As I did with that series, I have begun the Mia Quinn Mysteries series with book two, and again, I believe this book can stand alone quite well. However, I will go back and read A Matter of Trust, and then await book three. More on my recommendation, below. I will add, though, that fewer references to faith were made, in Deadly Business than in The Triple Threat Series. I appreciated the way it was woven into those stories, without pressure, but present. Here, hardly a mention is made, and no character in the book is presented as a person of faith.
Mia Quinn, Assistant Prosecutor for Seattle's KingCounty, where defendant Ronald Young has been convicted of raping and killing two teenaged girls. Mia now stands in the courtroom of Judge Rivas, waiting for Young and his attorney to appear for sentencing. Finally, the door opens and Rolf Dockins enters ahead of his client.
Too quickly for Mia or anyone else to react, Young breaks into a run, straight toward Mia, and lunges. Before she can take a breath to scream, he grabs her hair with one hand; the other presses against her throat. They tumble to the floor, with Mia landing on her back, crushed by his weight on top of her.
A battle ensues, with the courtroom clerk piling on top of Young in an effort to pull him off, thus further crushing Mia on the bottom. Add one deputy and one counsel for the defense (approximately 70 years old) who work to pull the defendant off of Mia, and then the court reporter yells that Young has a razor blade. With a little help from her friends, Mia survives the attack with a few bruises and with her throat unslashed. But the drama continues to mount after she leaves the courtroom a few minutes later.
Skipping a few details of the hours that follow, her evening is capped by learning that her husband's death may have been the result of a murder, rather than an accident; not only that, but he had apparently been having an affair and planning to leave her, as evidenced by the large diamond ring discovered when Mia smashed the ceramic pot in which Scott had kept pens on his desk.
I've noticed a trend in the mysteries I've read over the past several months. Crisis piles upon crisis, drama upon drama, all falling on the protagonist of the story from the beginning, with the details and the process of sorting out and resolving all the mysteries making up the remainder of the book. I've begun to think the trend rather overdoes the piling on, as I wonder: Do real people really experience three or four earth-shattering, life-threatening crises in one 24- to 48-hour period? Or are these books being written, now, to feed the public's craving for more! bigger! louder! scarier! material, whether in books, audio materials, video or on the big screen?
I sigh. But I do enjoy the sorting, investigating, discovery and resolution process. And Liz Wiehl is imminently qualified to write books like this. I recommend the book with four stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.