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"The door opened to reveal a nice looking
woman, small, but soft in a motherly sort
of way...She was dressed in a high-end
coat, and he would bet money that her handbag
cost more than his monthly mortgage. She
offered her hand in greeting. He took it,
pleased to find her handshake firm.
Nothing irritated him more than a weak
handshake, something he equated with
"Hello. Are you David Lloyd?
David Lloyd Investigations
By Liz Strange
When I first started to read this novel, I got the feeling of a routine "Mike Hammer" PI investigation. But I was wrong--not because David Lloyd did not have the looks and "smart-ass" personality of Mike as he followed the same investigative procedures, which, for David, had been first learned in his police career. No, it was all of the involved characters and what was revealed through that investigation. I'll just say that potential readers might think Law and Order, Special Victims to get a better feel for what Lloyd found himself involved with!
I enjoyed meeting main character David Lloyd. He was already established as a PI when the book opens, but readers will see much about what he had gone through while he was a cop--especially that he was seriously hurt as a result of a "deliberate and vicious" beating that David and many others who knew what had happened, felt had been done by a group of fellow police officers...supposedly because he was gay. But when you later meet the officer in question, you just know that he was a bully when he was young and remained a bully now! Let's face it, somebody who likes to control others will use any reason to force victims to submit to their power...
David was not only left with physical limitations that had prevented his continued police career, he had been permanently changed by what had happened... And that's what made him the perfect PI to handle this investigation, although readers will have to realize that along the way...LOL
Marjory Barrowman became his client, coming to him to seek assistance in trying to find her daughter, Stella, 23, who had been missing for about two months. They had filed a police report, but Stella had been in and out of trouble quite often and had left town before without letting them know. But Marjory felt this time was different--she had never been away this long and, frankly, they had normally been called in the past to get her out of jail or some other type of trouble. Marjory just had to find out if she was alive, or have her brought back home if she wasn't.
Neither her husband nor son really supported her hiring a private investigator. This had been happening so often and they knew she was an addict and sometime prostitute in order to feed her addiction. This time was really no different...
Stella was a dancer, was very good, and had been in a small company where she had made some friends... She had been in rehab before, had been seen by a counselor and had become close to an art therapist.
From a professional standpoint, David realized that this could be a lengthy and profitable case. There were a number of options--tracking down potential individuals she had met on the streets, or from her drug connections, but also through her dance activities and rehab experience.
For David personally, however, he soon became almost obsessive in trying to find this beautiful young girl. Because what he was finding was that nearly all of the people he talked to, including her father and brother, seemed to be lying. Soon, he wasn't even sure about her mother... What he was discovering also brought back his own loss of career because of violence and made him really begin to look hard at his 5-year relationship that was being kept secret...
He was tired of lies and secrets!
And he wasn't going to stop until he resolved his personal life and this case!
But he was getting too close and attempts were made on his life. Then, a street friend of Stella's started sharing, only to be beaten so badly over her entire body that it was amazing she lived--and surely had been left because it was assumed she would not!
The chase is hot and heavy and becomes more and more dangerous as each contact begins to shed more and more light on what happened to Stella. Was she suffering from mental health issues as the doctors stated and which was supported by her family, or was there something that happened to her that caused her personality change. David intended to find out, for he knew what happened to individuals who had been abused--they were changed for life, going in one way or the other! Was Stella still alive?!
The suspense is sustained throughout, now knowing just who and how many were involved! At the same time, the personal lives of each character draws readers to either love or hate them! David's romance is a supporting sub-plot that brings a breath of tenderness amidst much abuse. I believe the more we spotlight the sexual abuse, including harassment, any of us can and have faced, the more people will become aware of how badly this corruption can damage involved individuals. Liz Strange has done an excellent job in delving into the reality of today's world! I loved this one and hope David Lloyd investigations comes back to us soon!
“Of course. Please believe me this is no judgment on you
personally, I wish only to do what I can to help while abiding to
the regulations of my profession. I should start by clarifying that
in addition to the Borderline diagnosis, Stella also had addiction
issues. I understand that Marjory has already spoken to you about
this. She self-medicated for both her physical and emotional pain,
using whatever she could get her hands on. It was a complicated
course of treatment, involving both individual and group therapy.
I felt the best chance for relief of symptoms for Stella was the use
of dialectical behaviour therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy,
combined with medications for her depression and anxiety.”
Whatever that meant.
About the Author:
Liz was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, where she still resides. She is a massive horror fan, vampire enthusiast and self-confessed sci-fi nerd. Some of her favourite things include spicy food, soccer, rainy days, books, movies, and musical theatre.
Mythology and historical mysteries have long enthralled her, and you will often find them touched upon in her works. When not reading, writing or spending time with her family Liz hopes to travel the world. She has her sights set on Greece, Mexico and Easter Island.
You can find out more about Liz at www.lizstrange.com.