Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wiretap - Valerie Biamonte

Summary:  Amanda Stephens creates business plans to help companies in trouble--but she's the one in trouble now.

Her firm gathers information through interviews and on-site surveillance then suggest new directions for management.  But her newest client--Moyer Metals--has a different problem: one of their employees was just murdered on their property.

Homicide Detective Lou Mason shows up at Amanda's firm with a warrant for her surveillance footage.  He also asks for a date.

Amanda and business partner Julio continue their work for Moyer.  Reviewing surveillance audio, Amanda overhears a second worker die a terrible death.  She calls Lou and their date becomes an investigation.

Police arrest a Moyer employee whose brother is a high-powered defense attorney--and Amanda's old flame.  He's determined to win his brother's case, and Amanda's heart.

But when Julio goes missing, and the killer hunts Amanda--Can she come up with a plan to save herself?  (Summary from the back of the book and image from author.  This book was given free for review.)

My Review:  Wiretap was a fun and fast read  The characters were well developed, the plot was fast-paced and engaging, and the ending had a nice twist.   I'm sure my father would have known who the killer was after watching so many Miss. Maple episodes, but I could not.  I can honestly say I wasn't sure who the murderer was until it was right upon me.

I do enjoy a book that can surprise me and make me go back to see if I was catching the clues correctly or missing them.  Biamonte does a nice job of surprising the reader, abruptly and in a good way.  The twist in the plot did have me flipping backwards to re-evaluate my guess.  I also enjoyed the author's use of a variety of characters and personality types and the equal acceptance of all types of people regardless of race. 

While the overall writing would have benefitted from a bit closer inspection (by an editor), the story was not affected by it.  Besides the few missing words or typos -- which really weren't many -- my only other gripe was that the story had a lot of interweaving lives and coincidences.  It works great for the story, but in a city so close to Chicago it was a little far-fetched.  I wouldn't call Wiretap classic literature, but I will say it's a book I'd recommend to friends.

Rating: 3.5 stars 

For the sensitive reader:  Occasional swearing and one F-bomb. 
Sum it up: A fast paced, engaging murder mystery.

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