Friday, August 19, 2011

The Scorpion by Gerri Hill

Publisher:             Bella Books

Some of Gerri Hill's recent novels haven't been as strong as her earlier ones, but that changes with The Scorpion.  Hill has produced one of the strongest books of her career.

Marty Edwards is an investigative reporter who has found her forte in cold case crimes.  She enjoys reopening cases, discovering new information and bringing closure to the families.  When she is asked to look at a ten year old murder in Brownsville, Texas, it seems to be a routine situation.  Kristen Bailey has been a police detective in Brownsville for two years, but she hasn't been accepted by the force.  When she is assigned to babysit the evidence Marty wants to look at, she thinks it's just another example of the department not letting her do the work she's capable of.  She can't understand why her lieutenant is so paranoid about Marty looking into the case, but her curiosity is roused when someone tries to kill Marty twice.  Marty has uncovered the existence of The Scorpion, someone who not only controls the crime in the city, but the police force.  When a third murder attempt is aimed at both of them, the women flee along the Gulf Coast.  The only way they can save themselves is to go back where they started and solve the crime, but they have no idea who they can trust.  It certainly isn't the police.

The best part of The Scorpion is that Hill works the plot so expertly the reader won't know who the kingpin is until the end.  Up to that point there is tension and excitement.  The book is fast paced, so the reading moves quickly.  The awakening that comes between Marty and Bailey is a strong part of the book, but it doesn't overshadow the mystery, as happens in so many novels.  While the reader will care about them, the more intriguing question is who the Scorpion is and how he became so powerful.

Gerri Hill has crafted an intriguing crime drama with a touch of romance.  It can be a good way to spend a couple of hours of entertaining reading.

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