A Nan Vining Mystery #5
Alibi, July 2015
From the publisher—
When she gets the call, Nan Vining responds as a mother first and a detective second. Her daughter, Emily, has made a gruesome discovery in a secluded section of a Pasadena park: a pretty, popular young teacher from Emily’s high school and a bright yet troubled transfer student—both dead and bloody in a copse of trees. But the crime scene isn’t the only thing that seems off to Detective Vining. There’s also the cocky classmate who was with Emily in the park—the boyfriend she never knew about. What else doesn’t she know about her daughter?
As she attempts to channel both her maternal and investigative instincts into one single point of focus, Vining’s superiors at the Pasadena Police Department are moving at lightning speed. Before the evidence has even been processed, the case is closed as a clear-cut murder/suicide: a disturbed teenager murders his teacher, then takes his own life. Vining doesn’t buy it. Now she’s chasing dangerous, powerful people with secrets they would kill for—and taking them down means risking her own flesh and blood.
The action rarely stops or even slows down to take a breath in Dianne Emley‘s Killing Secrets. When Detective Nan Vining’s daughter and a friend discover two bodies, Nan’s protective instincts kick in but also her sense of knowing when something is not quite right. She’s not satisfied when there’s a quick rush to judgment that a lovesick teen killed his teacher and then himself and her hackles rise, bringing to the fore the questioning mentality that has made her such a good detective in the past. Emily’s involvement just makes everything more intense.
Ms. Emley is one of those authors who are good at both plot and character development and I found myself really engaged with all the players, no matter how small or large their roles, because they’re so vividly drawn and each one has characteristics that make them memorable. As for the storyline, it would be easy to jump to conclusions about what happened in that park but, because criminals tend to do stupid things, it soon becomes apparent that Emily and Nan herself have plucked a few nerves.
Towards the resolution, the tension rises to a level that kept me reading much longer than I anticipated and, although I had my suspicions, I still had not figured it all out. To me, that’s a really good piece of crime fiction and I’m interested now in reading about Nan’s earlier cases so I’ll be picking up the first book in the series, The First Cut as soon as possible. Killing Secrets is my idea of a hard-edged police drama, the kind I love best, and I want more.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2015.
About the Author
Dianne Emley is the bestselling author of The Night Visitor and the Nan Vining series: The First Cut, Cut to the Quick, The Deepest Cut, and Love Kills. A Los Angeles native, she lives in the Central California wine country with her husband, Charlie.
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