Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Judgment Day by Wanda L. Dyson

Judgment Day
Author: Wanda L. Dyson
Publication: WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)

Description: Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions..
Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancé–the man she betrayed in college.
Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

My Thoughts: The book summary has a small mistake. Suzanne returns home to find a woman named Cecelia unconscious on her floor. She is the nurse of the doctor who was her boyfriend and who died when they switched cars one day. Otherwise, the summary is pretty accurate.

Suzanne Kidwell is a very unsympathetic character. She is the stereotypical shark-like female journalist who is willing to do anything for a story that is sensational enough to boost her show's ratings. Underneath, though, we get hints of a woman who is insecure and feels unloved. She is quite self-absorbed. When she needs a detective, she goes to the fiancé she dumped in college and his partner for help. Marcus and Alex have formed a strong partnership and have romantic feelings for each other that they are reluctant to mention. She is from a very wealthy family and he is not. Her parents want her to give up the detective business and come home to run the family business or, at least, to marry someone from the right social class to manage the business.

There are lots of plot threads that weave in and out of this book beginning with missing teenagers and leading to the black market organ transplant business. Not so coincidentally, Alex's mother is in need of a heart transplant. The villain of the piece is never in doubt but he is really evil and likely crazy too. He blames Suzanne for the death of his son even though he was the one who had the bomb planted in the car. 

This was a very good thriller with lots of action and suspense. I recommend it to those who want an exciting quick read.

Favorite Quote:
"The Suzanne we knew in college was selfish and self-centered and a bit of a narcissist, but she wasn't stupid and she wasn't a killer. And can you imagine Suzanne killing a woman over a man? Never happen. The second a man looked at another woman, Suzanne would toss him over and start trolling for a new victim."

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