Publisher: Minotaur Books
Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn, “the most original female character to anchor a crime series in years,” (The New York Times) is back—on a case staking family, friendship, and a man on death row.
Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn, now happily settled in Tucson, doesn’t go back to visit her family in Florida much. But her former partner Laura Coleman, whose life she has saved and who saved her life, is living there now. When Laura calls about a case that is not going well, Brigid doesn’t hesitate to get on a plane.
On leave from the Bureau, Laura has been volunteering for a legal group that is trying to prove the innocence of a man who is on death row for killing his family. Laura is firmly convinced that he didn’t do it, while Brigid isn’t so sure—but the date for his execution is coming up so quickly that she shares Laura’s fear that any evidence absolving him from the crime may come too late.
Edgar Award and CWA Gold Dagger finalist Becky Masterman’s third Brigid Quinn novel is the masterful follow-up to Fear the Darkness and Rage Against the Dying.
I’m sadly wrapping up my Becky Masterman binge here, I reviewed Rage Against the Dying and Fear the Darkness earlier this week, and though I LOVED my experience with this series, I’m bummed that I’m now caught up and I have to wait along with everyone else to see what Brigid Quinn gets up to next. This series is fantastic, the more I read, the more I loved Brigid and the third installment revealed so much more about her personal life and brought a deeper understanding of who she is and what drives her.
All of the books in this series have some seriously gripping prologues, but this one is my favorite thus far. It’s 1980 and a young Brigid is about to witness her first execution, a man on death row is about to be killed in the form of the electric chair. She talks about the odd feelings she has while simply sitting and watching as a man dies despite everything on the inside screaming at her to help him, its unnatural and goes against every instinct she has. It was very chilling and set the stage for the story perfectly.
Brigid leaves Arizona and heads to Florida when she receives word that her father is sick and in the hospital. While I missed the setting of AZ, I also appreciated seeing Brigid back home where it all began. Laura Coleman from Rage Against the Dying is back and it was nice to check in and see how she was recovering after the events that happened in that book. Coleman is working to exonerate a man named Marcus Creighton who was sentenced to death after the murder of his wife and the disappearance of his three children.
I’ve had a kind of morbid fascination about cases where an innocent man (or woman) is incarcerated for awhile now, so the premise for this one intrigued me. In 2015 alone, 149 people in US prisons were exonerated and released after their innocence was proven. On average, they spent 15 years behind bars. 15 years for something they didn’t do. Can you even imagine? It’s a terrifying thought, and while I won’t reveal if Creighton was actually innocent or guilty, I will say that this one gave me plenty of food for thought.
I don’t quite know how, but Brigid’s voice just gets stronger and more distinctive with each book. Maybe it’s because as the series progresses Masterman delves deeper into her character and peels back more layers of her personality, or maybe it’s because by now I’ve grown rather attached to her, but whatever the case is, my connection with this sarcastic, bullheaded, amazing woman continues to grow. She doesn’t just skirt the boundaries of the law when it suits her, she stomps on them, grinds them into dust and never looks back. She is one seriously tough, intimidating woman and if she was real, I would be tempted to knock on her door with a cup of coffee in my hand, the stories she could tell… The glimpses inside her head as she struggles to work out a case always draws me in, it’s like watching an extremely complicated puzzle being put together. Sometimes you think you have everything in the right spot until just a couple of pieces don’t fit exactly right, but then, you have an AHA moment and it all makes sense. Brigid always fits it all together faster than me, and that’s exactly how I like it as I don’t want to be able to figure it all out alone. Masterman is now an autobuy author for me and I can’t wait for book four, what a brilliant series this is.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to Minotaur Books for my review copy.