A Pinnacle Peak Mystery by Twist Phelan
Review: Twist Phelan's fourth mystery in the Pinnacle Peak series, False Fortune, has attorney Hannah Dain involved in an unnecessarily complex case of the US government accused of polluting the land of a local Indian tribe.
Hannah, her half-sister Shelby, and lead council Franklin Rowley are trying to come to an agreement with the Federal Government over a pollution complaint by an Arizona tribe dating back 50 years. The government accepts full responsibility and has offered a very generous settlement. When Rowley has a heart attack, the court appoints Hannah as lead council and gives her two weeks to prepare her settlement case. Shelby, however, is not convinced the agreement is in the best interest of their clients, and disavows the settlement. When Hannah tries to seek the help of a friend to provide additional evidence against the government, they find their lives in danger. Those who are trying to cover up the crime are associated with government lawyers, local businessmen, and legal representatives for the Indian tribe, many of which won't just stop at a cover up, but are willing to commit murder to prevent this case from being heard.
A parallel storyline has Hannah discovering she has another half-sister, Anuya, who surprises Hannah by showing up and announcing that she intends to stay with her for a while. Anuya insists on accompanying Hannah on her investigation to find out who is polluting the reservation. Over the course of one night they have their tires slashed, are shot at, and hide out in a bat cave. On another night they are forced into a ditch, are shot at, and hide out in a cave that is later blasted shut forcing them to dig their way out. Throughout all this, Hannah learns who is doing the illegal dumping, but who is trying to kill them remains unknown.
Although there are some very interesting and quirky parts to False Fortune, it's rather tedious after a while. In spite of all the action, the story itself seems to falter, especially after Anuya enters the picture and Shelby inexplicably is shunted off to the sidelines. The mystery of who, what, where, and why seem lost in a convoluted plot which never seems to regain its early momentum.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of False Fortune.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of False Fortune for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in False Fortune: Arizona
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False Fortune by Twist Phelan — A Pinnacle Peak Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: September 2007
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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