It really took me quite a while to get into this book. At about 75 pages in, I wondered if the book could get any more boring. But at about 100 pages in, I was hooked. For some reason, whenever I'm reading or watching anything, even if it's terrible, I have to finish it. I need to know how things turn out. The same was true with this novel, and it's a good thing. I turned out to quite enjoy it.
After reading this particular novel, I came to find out that it is actually the 12th in a series (The Joanna Brady novels). However, I believe they can all be read as stand-alone, because I never felt lost trying to catch up with characters or anything else.
From page 38:
Jaime looked up from taking notes. "What was he in for?"
"Second degree murder," Ted answered. "He got twenty-five-to-life for killing his wife back in the late seventies. It happened out in Sierra Vista, or maybe it was just near there, I don't remember which."
"I've asked Maggie from Records to get us the file," Joanna said.
"I don't remember his wife's name, but she was pregnant at the time of her death," Ted continued. "He was drunk and evidently functioning in a blackout when it happened. I don't believe her body was ever found."
"They got a conviction with no body?" Jaime asked. "That's pretty unusual."
Ted nodded. "There was enough blood found in Brad's vehicle and on his body to make a pretty good case that she was dead. And with her pregnant, I guess feelings were running pretty high. Even without a body, the county attorney was prepared to go for murder one. Instead, Brad copped a plea to second degree. Like I told Sheriff Brady here, he accepted full responsibility for his actions."
I'm giving this novel an 'average' rating because it really does start off slow. At times there is just too much detail and not enough of anything else. Though detail is very important in a novel, without it we can't paint our mental pictures of what is going on, there needs to be a proper balance. The first 100 pages or so do not provide the reader with this balance. However, as the novel progresses, this levels out a bit.
Though I'm not sure if I'll ever read this author again, it was not a bad choice of a read (I literally went to the library and just picked a book off the shelf). I've always been interested in crime novels and this one didn't sway that interest. If you're ever bored on a winter day, this still could be quite a good read. Just know that it'll take you a while to get into it.