One more in a long line of novels featuring a female PI/cop/lawyer...this is the first of a series, and the author's first novel. It possesses all the necessary elements: a smart, savvy protagonist(ess)....a semi-hunky love interest/foil.....a corrupt DA...some honest cops....and less-than -brilliant criminals. Ms Burke drew on her own experience in the legal profession, here.....the characters seem more 'believable" as a result.
We have here a teenage prostitution ring....an earlier death-penalty case that is "on the rocks"since those incarcerated for the crime could well be "innocent" of the crime.....several degrees of Bad Guys, from the seriously psychotic to the merely confused....and DAs playing both ends against the middle.
The book dragged in spots due to over explanation of the trial process/police procedure....but Ms Burke (daughter of James Lee) at least kept the "lectures" in the character's voice...less hectoring. Alafair has her Daddy's gift for dialogue and fast pacing....i look forward to reading her other offerings.
As I said, this is the first of a series featuring Samantha Kincaid...there is another series starring Ellie Hatcher, which joys I have yet to sample...Books like this are my idea of "fluff" and I recommend it to anyone who likes sassy, smart women in somewhat tough situations....anyone who likes the work of Sue Grafton and Laura Lippmann. Ms Burke is one writer to keep an eye on
3 Stars (***)