Review: New Orleans private investigator Michele "Micky" Knight finds a couple of her current cases linked to something called "The Cure" in Ill Will, the seventh mystery in this series by J. M. Redmann.
Suppressed by the government and powerful corporations, this is what they don't want you to have — a powerful, natural cure for many of life's most tragic curses — cancer, heart disease, AIDS, aging, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and many others.
For some, who may have no medical insurance to pay for complicated procedures and treatments or who may have exhausted all other options, a natural remedy seems like their last and best hope. But to the family of one such believer, it is nothing but a scam. Micky is hired to look into the company behind "The Cure", Nature's Beautiful Gift, but she's honest with her clients: unless they've done something illegal there's little she can do. But NBG, as she comes to think of it, figures into another case. The clinic where Micky's partner, Cordelia, a physician, is helping out asks her to do a routine follow-up on three patients, who missed their appointments. The clinic's staff doesn't have the time to track them down, but each was at a critical stage of their treatment when they stopped coming in. Micky finds one, Reginald Banks, in his home barely alive, a bottle of NBG on his bedside. He later dies, and curious if "The Cure" may have contributed to his death, Micky decides to dig deeper.
Ill Will is a solidly plotted, strongly character-driven mystery that is well paced, unfolding in such a manner that it's not clear at any point whether or not there is — or will be — a murder for Micky to solve. (One does take place late in the book.) And while "The Cure" is an important element to the story, it is not the only medical issue facing Micky: Cordelia has been diagnosed with cancer. Though Cordelia seems to be handling it reasonably well, putting on her objective clinical face as it were, Micky is less well equipped to deal with the situation. She's cynical enough to know that "The Cure" is not what it purports to be, but as someone who sees the person she loves at risk, she wants to consider all possibilities, even unreasonable ones. She almost seems disappointed when the case draws to a close and she learns "The Cure" is anything but. There are a number of touching scenes in the book between the two as they discuss where they are in their relationship, what can and needs to be done now, and what the future holds for them as a couple.
Acknowledgment: Bold Strokes Books provided an eARC of Ill Will for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Ill Will: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Ill Will by J. M. Redmann — A Micky Knight Mystery
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2012
List Price: $16.95