When she comes too, in pain and with someone’s screams ringing in her ear, Claire DeWitt can’t remember where she is or how she got there. Opening her eyes, she sees an ambulance and knows she’s on a stretcher about to be taken to hospital. She also knows that, if she goes, she might not make it through the day alive. So she attacks a police officer, steals a car and heads out to figure out just who was trying to kill her and why.
It’s a journey that takes her from her base in San Francisco to Las Vegas as she tracks down a man with white hair she isn’t sure exists. Along the way she reflects on how she ended up as a private investigator, flashing back to her teenage years where she was obsessed with the Cynthia Silverton Detective series, as were her friends, who formed an unlikely trio of investigators through to how she got her private investigators license by figuring out who was dead and who wasn’t as part of a cold case. It all seems completed unrelated but it isn’t – things never are when it comes to crime fiction – and slowly the links become obvious, to Claire and you as the reader. By the time I got there, though, it all felt a bit secondary because I was having such a good time, bouncing back and forth in time and picking up clues as to just what made Claire, Claire.
If I was going to be a private investigator, I’d want to be Claire DeWitt, one of my favourite detectives even though she’s only featured in three books and they have come at so slow a pace I’ve worried after each one there would never be another. How to describe Claire without making her unlikeable? I’m not sure there is a way. She has so many character traits that make me want to reach into the pages and give her a good shake but, all the same, I’ve fallen slightly in love with her. She’s a tattoo covered, drug taking, beast who does what she needs to to solve the crime she’s investigating, even if that means pissing people off and putting herself in danger.
She calls the crimes mysteries, which I love and gives each of them a name like The Case of the Bird with Broken Wings which evoke such images in my head, I long to know just what happened. Unfortunately, I probably never will. What I will have to do is – no doubt – wait for another seemingly endless time for another Claire DeWitt mystery. I have no doubt, though, it will be worth it!
About the book…
Claire DeWitt, the hard-living and tough-talking private investigator, has always been something of a detective. As a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, Claire and her two best friends, Tracy and Kelly, fell under the spell of the book Detection by legendary French detective Jacques Silette. The three solved many cases together and were inseparable—until the day Tracy vanished without a trace. That is still the only case Claire ever failed to solve.
Later, in her twenties, Claire is in Los Angeles trying to get her PI license by taking on a cold case that has stumped the LAPD. She hunts for the real story behind the death of a washed-up painter ten years earlier, whose successful and widely admired artist girlfriend had died a few months before him.
Today, Claire is on her way to Las Vegas from San Francisco when she’s almost killed by a homicidal driver. In a haze of drugs and injuries, she struggles off the scene, determined to find her would-be killer’s identity—but the list of people who would be happy to see her dead is not a short one.
As these three narratives converge, some mysteries are solved and others continue to haunt. But Claire, battered and bruised, continues her search for the answer to the biggest mystery of all: what is the purpose of our lives, and how can anyone survive in a world so clearly designed to break our hearts again and again?
Publisher: Artia Books
Publication Date: 18/9/18
Number of Pages: 304
Genre: Crime Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 5 out of 5
Find on: Goodreads / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Note: I received this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.
This sounds great, very noir! I must check it out. Is it better to read the series in order, or can this be read alone?
It is quite dark. I think you can read them anyway you want. There isn’t the chronology you get with other series.
This does sound very gritty – but clearly well crafted and engrossing. As ever, an excellent review, Emma:))
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