Claim of Innocence
Review: Chicago attorney Isabel "Izzy" McNeil hasn't practiced law in over a year — and certainly not criminal law — when a good friend urgently requests her assistance in defending a client of a murder charge in Claim of Innocence, the fourth mystery in this series by Laura Caldwell.
Izzy's life has been in turmoil. On the professional side, she set aside her law practice and first worked as a private investigator and then a reporter for Trial TV. On the personal side, her boyfriend Sam left her, only to reappear wanting to pick up where they left off. In the meantime, Izzy started dating Theo, who she adores being with … but isn't sure she really loves. Her "dead" father is suddenly not, and her remarried mother thinks Izzy should take time to get to know him. Maybe criminal defense attorney Maggie Bristol's offer to assist her in defending Valerie Solara would be just the ticket to take her mind off everything else. Valerie is charged with murdering her best friend Amanda, the motive being to clear a path to take up with Amanda's husband. Maggie simply wants to present a reasonable doubt defense for her client, but Izzy suspects Valerie isn't telling them all she knows and starts to dig into her past to discover what it is.
Claim of Innocence is more than just a very good legal thriller. It's about relationships between friends and lovers, parents and children, and more. The subplots strike a good balance between Izzy's demanding personal and professional lives, adding interest to both. A rare case of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole. Though it is not necessary to have read any of the previous entries in this series to enjoy this one, there is a overarching storyline here and new readers will almost certainly want to go back and check out how Izzy got to be in the situation she finds herself here.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Claim of Innocence.
Acknowledgment: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations provided a copy of Claim of Innocence for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Claim of Innocence: Chicago, Illinois
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Claim of Innocence by Laura Caldwell — An Izzy McNeil Mystery
Publisher: Mira Books
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $7.99