Title: A Bad, Bad Thing by Elena Forbes
An Eve West Mystery Book One
Publisher: Severn House
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Eve West, a police officer with a hidden past, is drawn into a dark and complex case when she’s asked to investigate a miscarriage of justice.
A highly effective police officer, albeit one who keeps her past carefully hidden, Eve West is suspended from duty after a police operation goes catastrophically wrong. Receiving help from an unexpected quarter – a criminal she put away many years before – Eve feels she has no choice but to agree to his request to investigate a possible miscarriage of justice in return. But why is a hardened criminal like John Duran so keen to help a fellow-inmate convicted of the murder of a stable-girl? And why has he chosen Eve to look into the case?
Teaming up with crusading journalist Dan Cooper, Eve begins to uncover disturbing flaws in the original investigation. But as her past is dragged to the surface, she comes to realize she has been plunged into a case more complex and sinister than she ever imagined.
The first installment in An Eve West Mystery series, A Bad, Bad Thing by Elena Forbes is an absorbing mystery starring a likable protagonist.
DCI Eve West is a veteran police officer who is suspended after a police operation goes horribly wrong. She is surprised when John Duran, a murderer she helped put behind bars, contacts her with an intriguing proposition. In exchange for providing information that will clear her name, he would like for Eve to look into fellow inmate Sean Farrell’s possible wrongful conviction for murder. Eve is suspicious of John’s motive for helping her, but she decides to look into the ten year old murder of Jane McNeil.
Working with Dan Cooper, a journalist who co-founded 4Justice, Eve heads to Jane’s former employer, Westerby Racing, which is also near where her body was eventually discovered. Upon her arrival, she is shocked to discover her old childhood friend, Gavin Challis, is now married to Melissa Michaels. While Gavin has recently embarked on a political career, Melissa, along with her brother Harry, run the family business. Will Eve uncover the new evidence she needs to exonerate Sean and thereby secure the information she needs to save her career?
Eve is a resilient, independent woman who deliberately eschews personal entanglements. She is a superb detective with keen instincts and she has no idea what she will do if she loses her job. Immediately throwing herself into investigating Jane’s death, she quickly learns the Michaels’ clan is not overly thrilled with the new interest in the case. Harry reluctantly offers to assist her, but Eve soon realizes he is not as co-operative as he appears. Despite the Michaels’ lack of enthusiasm, Eve doggedly persists in locating clients and co-workers who interacted with Jane along with her former roommates.
While Eve concentrates on Westerby Racing, Dan is dealing with shocking discoveries back in the city. With the police focuses their attention on him during their investigation of a murder close to him, he begins to lose hope he will be able to find new evidence that allow Sean’s case to go to the Appeals court. Dan is also nursing a broken heart and he is dealing with his misery in a very unhealthy manner. He has been uncertain whether or not he can completely trust Eve so he is reluctant to share information with her. Will Dan believe her assertion he can trust her not betray his confidences? Will his puzzling discovery provide the new evidence they need to exonerate Sean?
Despite a bit of a slow start, A Bad, Bad Thing is a clever mystery with a unique storyline. Eve is a strong woman who, although haunted by her past, refuses to let it define her. She is a brilliant detective who refuses to let anything, even her doubts about John’s intentions, interfere with her investigation. Dan is a flawed but likable man who is deeply dedicated to 4Justice. The investigation into Jane’s death is quite interesting and Elena Forbes does an absolutely superb job keeping the perpetrator’s identity and motive for the crime completely under wraps until the novel’s action-packed conclusion. A marvelous beginning to An Eve West Mystery series that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of the genre.