Monday, July 4, 2016

Book Review: "Forgive Me" by Joshua Corin

"Forgive Me" by Joshua Corin will be published by July 5, 2016. I had already read the first of this series in 2015, "Cost Of Life", and loved it so I was eager to start this book.

Xana Marx has been sober for a little under one year after she drunkenly drove her car through someone's living room wall. That incident also got her fired from the FBI. In her alcoholic state Xana did many things she should apologize for when she worked as an FBI agent. Many times she overstepped the bounds of moral decency in the pursuit of justice and it seems one of the people she victimized in her zeal to catch the bad guy wants their own revenge. They turned to The Serendipity Group.

The Serendipity Group is a "a charitable organization that helps victims take revenge on those who've wronged them." But when their hit list gets out and Xana's name is on it, there's no way the police are going to keep her away from the investigation. Although Xana is a pain in the neck to work with, the detectives assigned the Serendipity case are going to need the brilliance of this tarnished former FBI agent to unravel just what's going on.

From an innocent couple just trying to go on their honeymoon to Paris to a hacksaw wheedling priest this case will tax even the most inventive detective. The problem is Xana only has three days until someone will be coming after her and if she can't help the detectives figure out what's going on she'll never see her attacker coming.

As the second installment of the Xana Marx series I really enjoyed getting to know our main character better. Although a broken hero, she has many redeeming qualities to admire and she's wicked smart. I love a female protagonist with brains, snark and some personal flaws, that's Xanadu Marx in a nutshell. This book is at least a four out of five star, if I could I'd give it another half a star because it's so close to wonderful.

Xana is trying to stay on the wagon and get through one year of sobriety so she can get her life back on track. I found her struggle to be a better person added to the depth of this book. This mystery is complicated, not because there's too many characters or overwhelming details but because the situation is just so unique. There was also something intriguing about the idea behind the Serendipity group that elevated the mystery to a new plane. So many of us hate the bullies we had to endure as children or resent the truly abysmal boss that crushed our dreams. There's all those victims of the Bernie Madoff scandal etc. Do those people deserve revenge? The moral quagmire one steps in when considering that question is at the heart of this book and it makes the mystery all that much more enjoyable.

You don't have to read "Cost of Life" first to truly enjoy this mystery, it stands on its own. But if you would like to add a new female protagonist to your list of great reads then I suggest you read both books, they're great mysteries with a terrific lead character.


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