Review

Question of Trust

by Laura Caldwell

There is no question that the sassy, redheaded Izzy McNeil can trust her best friend, Maggie, who helps her make the transition from entertainment lawyer to criminal defense attorney. Maggie and Izzy tell each other everything and trust one another implicitly. Their gay assistant Q represents the only stability in Izzy’s crazy life. Between her clients and boyfriends, there is always some drama that puts her in the middle of chaos.

"Trust me, Laura Caldwell’s Izzy McNeil is one red hot lawyer who is not done navigating the sea of men in search of her next adventure."

In the summer of 2009, lawyer-turned-novelist Laura Caldwell introduced us to Izzy McNeil with her back-to-back-to-back trilogy, which consisted of RED HOT LIES, RED BLOODED MURDER and RED, WHITE & DEAD. Izzy was thrust into a world of lies, secrets, undercover work and stalking, and was named a “person of interest” in a murder. Through it all, she has maintained her sanity with a wicked dalliance with a younger man, a pair of red stilettos and a glass of merlot. Izzy is a modern Chicago woman who emerges triumphant.

Caldwell’s twists and turns through the legal system in QUESTION OF TRUST are easy to follow, but only as a backdrop to Izzy and her roller coaster love life. The men in and out of Izzy’s bed are the strength of the previous novels, and they are the silver thread throughout this latest installment.

Izzy’s “wicked dalliance,” Theo Jameson, has just asked Izzy to move into a plush new condo with him when things in his life start to unravel and the Feds arrest him for fraud. Theo’s mortgage is denied, and Izzy hesitantly lets him move in with her while she helps him figure out who drained all of the money from his successful software company, HeadFirst. She suspects his case is mysteriously connected to the one that Maggie just gave her, involving a Mexican drug cartel, the Cortaderos. A trail of laundered money invested secretly in American companies gives Izzy the lead she needs to help her lover.

Theo is facing his own issues of trust. His business partner is working with the Feds against him and his father, Brad Jameson, a venture capitalist who helped him raise money to start his software business and has now gone missing. The one person Theo trusts is his mother, the only one it seems who has the money to post his bail. Izzy has learned to trust her father, who has reappeared after years in hiding, as well as Vaughn, a local policeman and her sometimes boss and private eye friend Mayburn.

The mystery of how the funds from Theo’s company disappeared, foreign trust or offshore bank accounts, takes center stage, leaving Izzy and Theo’s romance suffering. Readers who fell in love with Izzy and her lust for a younger, successful man with a few tattoos and long flowing hair will miss the playful romance that permeated the earlier novels. The one constant in QUESTION OF TRUST is Maggie and Izzy’s unbreakable friendship, their love for each other, the bond of trust between girlfriends that lasts through the trail of lovers Izzy has accumulated. They rely on one another to escape the craziness of life and share in the goodness of an unexpected event in Maggie’s life.

Trust me, Laura Caldwell’s Izzy McNeil is one red hot lawyer who is not done navigating the sea of men in search of her next adventure.

Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on March 2, 2012

Question of Trust
by Laura Caldwell