Review: Rachel Brady introduces Emily Locke, an experienced sky diver still mourning the loss of her husband and infant daughter in a boating accident four years ago, whose help is requested by a most unlikely source, in Final Approach, the author's debut mystery.
Richard Cole was the police officer in charge of investigating, and mishandling, the accident that killed Emily's family. Forced to leave the police department, he's now a private investigator looking into the disappearance of a child in Texas, far from Emily's home in Ohio. His only lead is the Gulf Coast Skydiving School. Richard knows of only one person who may help him gather information, but Emily is loathe to assist him. Still, she can't bear the thought that another mother might lose a daughter because of her unwillingness to help. She travels to Texas and joins the school as an instructor. Not skilled in the more subtle aspects of investigative stealth, she's quickly caught looking through the school's financial records, but not before learning that there are numerous entries of income that don't seem directly related to the business. Though the owners are now suspicious of her, she's allowed to stay on, later overhearing talk of trafficking in children. Unsure of how to proceed, and lacking concrete evidence to back up her story, she and Richard work together to determine who is in charge of this child kidnapping ring, and how they can shut it down.
The plot of Final Approach is somewhat implausible and at times doesn't seem fully developed, but the entertaining and well-drawn characters, especially those of the sky diving school, tend to compensate. That one of them is a cold-blooded villain is not unexpected, but it's hard to pick out which of the group it is. Overall, though Final Approach is a fast reading book, interesting and quirky in its own way, it is not especially memorable.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Final Approach.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Final Approach for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Final Approach: Houston, Texas
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Final Approach by Rachel Brady
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: October 2009
List Price: $24.95