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No Swooning Southern Belle Here!
by MaryBethWrites on 21 March 2011Tai Randolph has a problem-she’s found a body in a car across the street from her brother’s driveway. Add to that the unexpected presence of representatives from a local security firm pushing her around, and she’s definitely having a bad day.
Tina Whittle takes readers on a thrill-ride through the underside of corporate Atlanta in “The Dangerous Edge of Things,” her debut novel from Poisoned Pen Press. Her heroine possesses strong opinions about a lot of things, not all of them based on fact. Tai has many lessons to learn along the way to the solution of the murder.
Whittle’s cast includes Trey Seaver, a former police officer working for Phoenix Corporate Services. He comes on like a stone man because of past injuries, but there’s a heart inside the tough shell. Tai’s brother Eric misses the excitement of the murder by being away on a cruise; his return brings more questions to the situation. Rico, an old friend of Tai’s, provides moral and technical support as she investigates. Trey’s former APD partner, politicians, socialites, a masseuse/mystic, strippers and all sorts of “company” goons interact with Tai as she tries to get to the truth. Oh, and she’s inherited a gun shop but hasn’t been approved yet to carry a gun…
Plots and subplots intertwine in “Edge” and create one of those books that can make you lose track of time. Tai has left her “ghost tour” business to return to Atlanta because of the inheritance. She and Eric face off on a regular basis. Trey’s brain injuries have left him with a different way of processing the world, challenging Tai’s relationship skills. Eric is toeing the company line, even as he looks like a murder suspect. Secrets must be uncovered and the innocent vindicated, but can Tai and Trey accomplish the job in time to save their own lives?
Whittle indicates that this book constitutes the first in a series. She’s built a good platform from which to expand. Her characters possess sufficient complexity to bring the reader back without being so complicated that the reader gets confused.
The relationships and situations are resolved to a satisfying point without coming to a dead end. There is some strong language interspersed in the story and a little bit of sexual overtones, but nothing outrageous.
If you’re looking for a new mystery author to follow, I recommend Tina Whittle. She tells a great Southern story while avoiding cloying stereotypes. I look forward to the next installment in the series.
This review is based on a review copy of the book provided by the author.
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