Review: Stuntwoman Darcy Lott quickly discovers that the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with — now murdered — was a man with secrets, and sets off to learn what she can about someone she really didn't know at all, in Power Slide, the fourth mystery in this series by Susan Dunlap.
Darcy thinks that her erratic relationship with fellow stunt driver Damon Guthrie may be gelling. They're talking about a future together, and forming a production company of their own. But while performing a dangerous stunt on location on the docks of Oakland, Guthrie gets distracted, nearly killing Darcy. She demands an explanation, but he puts her off. Just when it seems he's ready to tell her, and agrees to meet her in a city park, he's found dead, the back of his head bashed in. Her brother, the detective, warns her to not to interfere in an active police investigation, but Darcy simply can't let go of the fact that the man she loved had something to tell her — something she's determined to learn on her own now that he's dead.
The overall storyline in is quite intriguing and has some interesting elements to it — most particularly the scope of Guthrie's secret life — but what's really distracting here is Darcy herself. She has her moments of introspection and reality checks (Guthrie works in illusion within illusion. In the fiction of movies and within the illusion of stunts.), but for the most part she acts in a childish, sometimes churlish manner … repetitive enough to get annoying. She's always been impulsive, especially in contrast to her older brothers and sisters, who typically play a prominent role one way or another in the series, but it doesn't come across as an endearing trait in this book. Ironically, given her lifestyle, she could do with being more zenic. Still, the mystery in Power Slide is strongly plotted, enough so that it more than compensates for Darcy's petulance.
Acknowledgment: Counterpoint Press provided an ARC of Power Slide for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Counterpoint (Hardcover), August 2009
ISBN-13: 9781582434520; ISBN-10: 1582434522
Location(s) referenced in Power Slide: San Francisco, California
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Power Slide by Susan Dunlap — A Darcy Lott Mystery
Publication Date: August 2010
List Price: $25.00