Friday, May 21, 2021

Denied by Mary Keliikoa

Book cover
by Mary Keliikoa

ISBN-13: 9781603817837
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Camel Press
Released: May 11, 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
PI Kelly Pruett has a lot on her plate – working with clients at the detective agency and caring for her deaf daughter. If motherhood taught her anything, it’s that the best things in life are never easy, so, despite recent injuries, PI Kelly Pruett is eager to get back to work.

When a mommy-to-be hires Kelly to locate her estranged dad, Kelly is thankful for the straightforward missing-persons case. But as she rummages through the trash in search of clues, she uncovers gambling debts to gangsters… and a blood-soaked severed finger. With her investigation suddenly heating up, Kelly’s hunt takes a deadly turn when her quarry is found driven off a cliff to his doom. She’ll need more than her cop boyfriend’s help to expose the truth when the murderer sends her a cease-and-desist notice with an explosive ending.

My Review:
Denied is a suspense/mystery. This is the second book in the series. You don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this one didn't spoil the mystery of the previous book. However, the book description led me to have some wrong expectations about the book. Kelly's deaf daughter was a minor character who was mainly cared for by her ex, who seemed like a fairly nice guy. The puppy was just a pet, usually asleep on the passenger seat of the car. Until, suddenly, he was out sniffing out clues. It wasn't clear if the dog had some training or if this was simply an innate instinct for his breed, but it was rather unexpected at that point.

Kelly was a very human heroine, wanting to live up to a high ideal but feeling like she was failing. She's very determined and cares about others. She's quite competent in the sense that she asked good questions, was observant, followed up on clues, and even survived quite a few dangerous situations. But she also made some wrong assumptions and mistakes. She broke some laws and once suffered consequences for those actions. I initially understood her motivation for continuing to search for the truth despite the danger (threats, exploding cars, knives, etc.) to herself. I was baffled, though, by why she couldn't let go when a trustworthy detective said they would seriously investigate everything she had found, so she could now focus on staying safe (and being the good mom that she aspires to be).

There was a fair amount of bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this exciting mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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