Hot House

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Fans of crime thrillers will be excited to grab a copy of Lisa Towles newest book, Hot House. Hot House features the new partnership of Mari E. and Derek Abernathy. Mari E. is San Diego art gallery owner Marissa Ellwyn who moonlights as a private investigator. Mari figures that one day she may need backup so she hires rough-around-the-edges ex-police officer Derek Abernathy. Marissa’s team also includes her security detail/dogwalker/the guy who knows how to do or find anything or anyone, Duga. Although the book is not very long in length, there is so much that happens. There is the murder of a young college student named Sophie, the murder of a journalist who was researching the death of Sophie, the disappearance of another journalist, and the blackmailing of a judge who may somehow be connected to Sophie.

Appellate Court Judge Conrad McClaren hires Mari, who is a close family friend, to help him find out who is blackmailing him for a crime he supposedly committed. Mari starts finding notes in her mailbox that seem to be from the same blackmailer telling her to “STOP”. She hires Derek, and with the help of him and Duga, they start digging deeper into the case. First off, who is Sophie and why is she also called Sasha? How does she know the judge? Did he have a motive to kill her, and if not, who would?

This book is action-packed and the story keeps getting better as it goes on. Mari is smart, intuitive, and bold. Derek is the perfect partner for her and shows both his smart and rugged sides. It’s easy to see that he starts having a soft spot for Mari as they work the case. Duga is amazing and finds out the most secret information via his many contacts. His gentle way with Trevor, Mari’s Great Dane, is heartwarming.

Bits of information that were not found out in the original investigation of Sophie’s murder bring everything to light making local law enforcement seem quite incompetent. Towles does a fantastic job of pacing the storyline so that the reader hangs on to every clue as it is discovered. My mind was racing the whole time I was reading, wondering what would happen next. I really love this combination of characters and look forward to the next installment of the new E & A Thriller Series. I recommend this for fans of crime fiction writers Baldacci, Slaughter, and Gardner.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 246 pages
Publisher Indies United Publishing House
Publish Date 15-Jun-2022
ISBN 9781644564257 Buy this Book
Issue April 2022
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller