The Trophy Exchange
by Diane Fanning
3 stars - goes fast
Exactly what I was looking for to clean my brain out after the spectacularly depressing Grapes of Wrath.
The book opens with eight year old Charley Spenser happening upon the body of her murdered and mutilated mother. Ew.
Detective Lucinda Pierce is called in. Detective Pierce not only had half her face blown off during a domestic violence case, but also was involved in a call-out that turned very very bad (as in internal affairs investigation bad). Ew again.
Ms. Fanning is apparently better known for her true crime novels and it shows during the first third of the novel. Stylistically, it sounds more like true crime than a regular book. But she finds her voice after a while.
Nothing extraordinary here in either the characters or the mystery but the chapters are short and the pacing kept my interest.
The ending was a bit too tidy for me and the motivation behind the murders was dealt with in a rather cursory fashion. Ms. Fanning isn't going to jump to the "gotta get another book by this author" list. That's OK. The time reading was well spent.
One scary scene involving a cat, but the cat is fine.
I did learn a new expression "creeping a house" meaning to break into a person's house and mess with their stuff just to screw up their mind. Hopefully not a phrase I will ever have need for.