Mia Quinn discovers that a series of seemingly unrelated murders are linked. How far up are the strings being pulled-and what happens when one of her own is at risk?
The murder Mia is prosecuting seems like an open and shut case-until the accused claims he was the real victim and that the dead girl attacked him first. The tabloids dub her a "lethal beauty." Still, a conviction seems imminent. Then a key witness goes missing. Just when it looks like the killer could walk free, the dead woman's mother takes matters into her own hands.
Meanwhile, Charlie Carlson, a Seattle homicide detective, is investigating the murder of a man whose body washed up on the beach of Puget Sound, but he's got little to go on. He has no dental work, fingerprints aren't on file, and he doesn't match any missing person reports. Then a church pianist is senselessly gunned down before horrified parishioners.
All three cases seem unrelated-but are they? Together, Mia and Charlie race to find the answer before another crime hits too close to home.
Lethal Beauty is the third Mia Quinn mystery by Lis Wiehl, and it does not disappoint. The novel is filled with danger, mystery, murder, and secrets. It starts with the court case for the killing of a prostitute, and the book slowly builds from there to the real culprits behind the murder and the organization responsible for seemingly unlinked circumstances. I found Lethal Beauty to be a little slow and hard to get engaged in initially because there was a lot of hopping from one perspective to another as the background to the story was being built. However, once more events began to unfold, the story became intensely more interesting. There was less court action in this novel than in the previous Mia Quinn mysteries, which was disappointing but appropriate for the storyline. There was also less focus on the Eli-Mia-Charlie interactions as Eli was only in the first few chapters of the book, which was something I missed.
The characters in this novel were decently well developed. I learned more about Gabe, Mia's son, as well as her late husband. I thought both Mia and Charlie could have had more development in this novel as this was the third novel, and yet I still do not feel like I know them any better. There is also still a missing link between Mia's husband and everything else that has been happening in the books, and I am very intrigued to discover what that is in future books.
Overall, I enjoyed Lethal Beauty. I found the mystery plot to be exciting and eventually very engaging, but I did wish there was more character development since this is a series. However, I also really appreciated the careful research and message that the author portrayed about the horrors of illegal immigrant smuggling, forced prostitution/sex trafficking, and the forced labor many immigrants face when they reach the United States through the 'good graces' of labor/trafficking rings. I thought it was a great reminder that not everything is as it seems and that many people are still suffering in slavery even today.
I received this novel from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.