READ AUGUST 2013
Online plot summary: “Amanda Valentine is back And she arrives in New Zealand just in time for the most sensational homicide of the year. Join this unusual, engaging cop on her latest case.”
My review: Not bad, but not great, for sure. Still, “great” doesn’t come around all that often. It was a very quick, fairly enjoyable read, and very much what I expected. The writing is decent, and the mystery is okay. I did like this one more than the series debut Introducing Amanda Valentine, but not enough to merit an extra star. Bottom, line: Amanda’s pretty much a Inspector Carol Ashton clone, transplanted to NZ instead of Oz, though Beecham’s style here isn’t as austere as McNab’s is in the Ashton series. It’s like Carol Ashton but written more like McNab’s Denise Cleever novels. The biggest drawback is that, aside from our protag, there’s no character development. Other characters are basically stick figures. As Jaques tells the Duke, “they have their exists and their entrances,” but, that’s pretty much it. Nothing really holds one’s interest except the mystery, and that, only somewhat.
Not sure I’ll bother with the other books in the series, though you could do worse than this one. Yeah, this is short and not so sweet, but short is about all I felt Second Guess deserved.