Monday, October 8, 2018

Exposed Fury by Marie Flanagan - Great Whodunit!

An hour later, dressed in a navy worsted-wool business suit with a white silk blouse, she pointed her black Toyota Prius toward the Beacon Hill golf community just outside town. The car had been a gift from her father. It was the perfect vehicle for a private investigator because she could sit in it for hours with the air conditioner or heater running and not waste much gas. 
Sitting for hours in her car waiting to take a picture of someone was something she did a lot these days, so the car was a real blessing. Her father had wanted her to have a more reliable car than her old Jeep Wrangler. Annie hadn’t thought a new car was necessary, but once she was able to drive again, her father insisted. Something about her almost dying had made him very generous. 
She hadn’t refused the gift but kept her Jeep anyway. After all, it was paid for and had its uses. Annie smiled as she turned left onto Spectacular Bid Place, with its ever-so-slightly less-stately manors. All the roads in Beacon Hill were named after racehorses. The neighborhood dripped with pretension and new money. She pulled into a driveway that curved through a broad, snow-covered lawn. She rang the bell but didn’t have to wait. 
Laura opened the door as though she’d been standing by it all morning. “Hello, Annie. Come in.” Laura Carlton was lovely in a completely put-together way that Annie had never quite been able to manage for herself. Laura’s hair and nails were always perfect, and her clothes were expensive and conservative. Unfortunately, no amount of poise could protect her from Annie’s news. Laura had suspected her husband was cheating on her, and Annie was there to confirm those suspicions.
Laura’s lawyer, David Cohen, was seated at the table when they came into the kitchen. He stood to shake Annie’s hand. He wore cuff-links in his white silk shirt and a tie bar under a silk tie that highlighted his blue eyes. Annie had seen him around town. As usual, Cohen’s suit looked as though it cost more than Annie made in a month. Even the perfect cut of his salt-and-pepper hair was probably out of her price range. She’d been lucky to get work as an in-house investigator for Cohen, Strauss, and Associates Law Offices. They were right in downtown Leesburg and had a long history there as a quality law firm. Their regular investigator was out on maternity leave, and Annie had been filling in.
“So, what do you have for us?” Laura asked, sitting opposite Annie. Annie slid a large manila envelope of pictures across the table to David. “I should warn you there are five women in there.” 
A muscle in Laura’s jaw twitched. “Five different women? Or five encounters? Annie thought that was an odd question, but she said, “Five different women in five encounters.” 
Laura frowned. “He didn’t even bother coming home last night.” 
“I’m sorry.” Annie was surprised that Nick Carlton hadn’t come home. He’d struck her as dedicated to being a lunchtime Lothario. Laura sat straighter in her chair as if good posture could make the situation better. She ignored David rifling through the photos and poured the tea. 
Annie took a sip. “I know you asked me to follow him for two weeks, but before I continue with the surveillance, I wanted to check with you. It’s your money, but you have plenty now to take him to court and get a very nice settlement. Actually, showing him those pictures should be sufficient to keep you out of court altogether.” David nodded in agreement. 
“How many do you think there are?” Laura’s voice was tight as she reached for the envelope. David stilled her hand. “We talked about this,” he said. “You shouldn’t look.” 
Annie hesitated. She didn’t want to twist the knife, but she was pretty sure others existed. Still, she waffled. “I’m not sure. It’s five so far. That’s a lot of women to juggle. This is probably it.” Laura looked from one of them to the other...
Laura looked down at her tea as if answers were hidden there. “I want to be sure we have them all. Stay on it another week.” David looked as surprised as Annie felt. 
“Laura,” David said soothingly. “We have more than—” 
“I want another week,” Laura said firmly. 
Annie wanted to jump for joy but managed to contain herself...

Exposed Fury

By Marie Flanagan

Annie Fitch had been following Nick Carlton for a week, having been hired by his wife to discover and document whether he was cheating on her. Actually, she knew he was, but needed the documentation to file for divorce. She still loved him, even knowing he was a sex addict, but she needed to many...

So far, Annie had taken pictures of 5 different women in 5 different situations. It was plenty to document her justification for divorce, but she asked Annie to continue to follow him for the additional week she had originally been hired for. Annie was thrilled to have the work, although her new career as a PI was constantly growing...

But as good fortune comes your way, soon it may be gone, because when Annie was walking her dog, Chester, he had found and led her to what seemed to be a body lying in an alley...

Later to be identified as Nick Carlton! No more surveillance needed...

Annie had been a cop before she was shot on the job and had been unable to return to her former detective position. So on finding a body, she automatically called her former partner, Gunner and later explained how she knew the man and had been following him on behalf of his wife...

Of course, the spouse was immediately a suspect, but Annie didn't think so and continued to support her as the investigation began...

Can you imagine what Gunner was facing on tracking down who might have killed him, besides his wife? The pictures of the five women Annie had shot led only to the fact that none of the women really knew Nick. Soon it was discovered that Nick belonged to a web site which essentially coordinated those who wanted to meet, blindly, He had been involved with hundreds, mostly for afternoon delights! 

While the investigation had much pressure to be solved from the top, the time commitment for reviewing Nick's life was extraordinary! Both Gunner and Annie were happy when Laura, Nick's wife, asked Annie to try to find Nick's killer...The two were back together, although Annie was looking at her work differently since she was not considering Laura as a suspect...

OK, so a murder took place, but somehow the investigation turned out to be funny--considering how many potential killers there were--hundreds of partners as well as their husbands or boyfriends...And readers become more involved with the lives of Gunner and Annie, in particular. 

Annie is a sympathetic character. She loved being a detective, and had a hard time adjusting to being unable to go back to the job. In fact, though physical therapy had helped greatly, she was still susceptible to situations where her body could not respond as it needed to do, even as a PI.  And her family, and lover, didn't help since they wanted her to be satisfied in some safe job, which was just not meant for Annie.

Chester added greatly to the story, especially since he first found the body, and then the weapon! Of course, questions about Annie's involvement became an issue as well, so that even a news reporter became Annie's stalker. I discovered I was enjoying the book so much that I wasn't spending too much time trying to pick up clues of whodunit! But that was ok, except when Annie discovered that Laura had been drugged! Just how dangerous was this killer?!

Another interesting twist was what Nick's wife wanted to do with some money Nick had put into a trust...Funny how love works...

A great police procedure/PI whodunit that keeps you interested, as well as establishes the lives of the various main characters. For me, I'd like to see more of Annie, especially, and how and where her life if leading... Highly recommended!


Marie Flanigan grew up all over the Commonwealth of Virginia as the youngest of three girls. Star Wars and comic books dominated her youth. She has a couple of degrees from George Mason University and is a licensed Private Investigator. Over the years, she's been a disc jockey, a web developer, and a children's librarian.

An avid gamer, she reviews video games for After nine car accidents, five concussions, and brain surgery, she decided that perhaps she was more suited to a quieter life. She and her husband and three dogs live happily and somewhat chaotically outside of Washington D.C.

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