Friday, August 12, 2011

A Question of Integrity by Megan Magill

Publisher:           Regal Crest Enterprises

Jess Maddocks doesn’t have an exciting job…usually. She’s very talented at going into a business, finding out what is wrong with its operation and showing a way to fix the problem. It keeps her very busy, which compensates for her lack of a social life. What little spare time she has is spent with her brother Nick practicing their weapons skills for the Medieval reenactment tournements they both enjoy or puttering around in her garden. Everything changes when she is asked to do an investigation at Image Conscious and meets Rosalind Brannigan. 

Jess is used to the hostile environment she finds at the company, but she’s caught by surprise when she responds to the overtures made by Rosalind. Both women are caught in a struggle between professional and personal integrity where they are approaching each other from opposite ends and there is no guarantee that they will meet in the middle. Jess finds herself drawn into a dangerous game of intrigue and blackmail where she will have to use all of her skills to save another person and then herself.

A Question of Integrity is advertised as the first in a new series. The writing flows well, the plot is paced correctly and there are some exciting scenes to keep the reader interested. It isn’t often that a woman gets to be a hero in the 21st century by being able to handle a Medieval sword, but it suits Jess quite well. A one word description of her would definitely be “spunky.” 

There could have been a little more character development, but there is enough to sustain the story and the major characters will probably grow as the series continues. One different aspect to the story is that Jess suffers from a borderline eating disorder that impacts her perceptions of herself. This might seem strange since other characters in the book obviously find her attractive, but it’s very true to life since people who fall into this category often have unrealistic self images. It will be interesting to see if this line is followed in future stories since it’s a topic that isn’t usually dealt with in books, but is very much a part of many women’s lives. 

Magill packs a lot of story into a few pages. It makes for a fast, but full read.

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