The Tables Have Turned by Lori Power is the second book in the Under Suspicion series. I try not to start a series with Book Two. In this case, I am answering an author request. The book is available for free through the Kindle Unlimited program or an outright purchase will allow you to keep the novel in your library.
The novel has twenty-four chapters with a solid reader hook that appears in chapter two. Lorna has secrets. She is attending a DefCon hackers convention under what she thinks is a carefully crafted alternate identity. It is not just registering under a false name at a hotel; Lorna has the complete package with credit cards and supporting identification. So how could it be that someone paged her to accept a phone call and make an appointment for a luncheon meeting the following day? Someone had seen and understood her secretly coded messages asking for help. All of this is in chapter two; there was no way I was going to put this book down.
The novel is all about secrets; how they are kept, how they are partially, slowly revealed, and the damage that ensues for all characters involved, both major and minor. Lorna had a rough childhood but survived many foster home experiences. She had learned many survival skills as she did what she had to do. Mitch was an undercover cop; secrets were an inherent part of the job. It was probably not ethical that Lorna and Mitch were in a romantic relationship. He had met her in the course of a criminal investigation; one in which she had been a suspect. If we accept that a solid long term relationship requires openness and trust, what chance did these two have? Readers will watch this struggle as it progresses in a very twisting course to … a cliffhanger ending. Remember this is book two of a series. That does not diminish the fun of this book. I am sure I will read Book Three as well as Book One because I am interested in a more complete backstory for Lorna.
There are many small mysteries in the context of a larger one. A ponzi scheme is robbing senior citizens of their life savings through insurance scams. Mitch leads a team of investigators to try to penetrate screens of shell companies, follow money trails, and arrest the suspected bad guys. This financial mystery is interesting by itself but there is a murder mystery thrown in. And then connections begin to appear.
Lori Power has weaved a complex series of connections between her characters. Past criminal activities continue to have a hold on Lorna. Evildoers from her past are subjects of Mitch’s investigations. Both Lorna and Mitch follow separate paths as they find clues about who killed Dorothy, the best friend of Lorna’s latest stepmom. Readers will find it easy to loathe Phil (or Phillip), someone from Lorna’s past who Mitch hates at first sight. There is also Kris, a kindergarten-age child whose stepmom is Lorna. Mitch also seems fascinated by and devoted to Kris. Who is the father of Kris? Who is the real mother of Kris?
Fans of mysteries might learn some things about fraud; that is what made the novel interesting to me. I am not a fan of the romantic side of things so I won’t comment on what I think fans of genre romance might like. But I was happy that the sex depicted was not overly salacious in detail; it was believable.
This novel was interesting enough for me to obtain books one and two; I think that should make an author happy. So why did I not give it five stars? There were some typos. There were not many but they were distracting. One of my favorite horror writers, Amy Cross, continues to publish with the same number of errors as I found in this novel. I continue to read Amy Cross and I will continue to read Lori Power.