Book Review - Revenge Served Cold by Jackie Fullerton
I received an advanced reader copy of Jackie Fullerton's book Revenge Served Cold from the publicist promoting the book. I needed some escape reading, and I hoped that this would fit the bill. Overall, Revenge wasn't bad in terms of plot or action. I struggled with the characters who weren't primary to the story, however. Not sure if I missed an earlier installment or what, but there was little in the way of color to explain how they all came together and worked out the details of the crime.
The main character is Katherine Spence, and she's going through some significant emotional struggles that are slowly revealed to others over the course of the plot. One of her problems is that she self-medicates with alcohol. Her husband knows all this, and tries to help keep her stable. That stability evaporates one day when a former lover shows up at her door, thinking that he can convince her to leave her husband and rekindle their romance. This visit and the associated argument and trauma drives her back to the bottle where she drinks herself into a stupor. But that night, her husband meets an estranged friend at a bar, and is the victim of a hit and run when he leaves the bar to get in his car and head home. All the signs point to Katherine being the killer, based on the car being hers and a witness saying the driver was someone who looked remarkably like her. Since she was blacked out during the time, she can't offer an alibi, but she knows she'd never do anything to kill her husband. The cops see it differently, however. They're ready to indict her for the murder, and the only person trying to clear her name is Anne Marshall, a legal stenographer and amateur sleuth who is relentless in her investigation with the help of her father's ghost who shows up and helps her figure things out.
I'll be the first to admit that a plot device of a ghost partner who is your dead father may sound far-fetched. But it's actually funny and special as to how it works between the two of them. He keeps showing up unannounced and surprising her, usually when there are other people around who can't see him. My biggest issue involved Marshal and her friends who work together to solve the crime. They had no character to me and I couldn't really keep them straight. Since they figure into the storyline to a moderate degree, their lack of background or personality made the story harder to follow than it should have been. If there's a prior book to this that uses the same characters, it may explain why there's little backstory here. But as a stand-alone story, it's a bit of a distraction.
Obtained From: Publicist