A Deadly Business: A Mia Quinn Mystery
Mia Quinn is back --- and better than ever --- in her second mystery, A DEADLY BUSINESS, by Lis Wiehl and April Henry.
In the first book, A MATTER OF TRUST, readers were introduced to Mia Quinn, whose husband died in a car accident seven months earlier, leaving her to raise their two children on her own. His death also left her a huge mound of debt she knew nothing about that she now has to repay, causing her to return to the workforce as a Seattle prosecutor of violent crimes.
A DEADLY BUSINESS begins with an intense courtroom scene where Mia is attacked by a criminal she is prosecuting, leaving her shocked and shaken. This scene has nothing to do with the plot, but gives readers an immediate foretaste of the excitement to come.
"Fast-paced and riveting, A DEADLY BUSINESS contains everything you’d expect from a legal thriller. Wiehl is a master storyteller, and her expertise as a trial lawyer and legal analyst only adds to the overall excellence of the novel."
The actual story centers on two separate cases. The first has to do with three teenage boys who drop a shopping cart off a bridge that ends up putting a woman in a coma. Mia is faced with the daunting task of deciding if the boys should be charged as adults. There is a good argument for both sides, and her decision could affect the reelection of her boss and friend, Frank D’Amato, as District Attorney, which ultimately could cost Mia her job. But she is determined not to let that sway her, and sets out to get the facts and weigh the evidence in order to come to an educated and practical conclusion.
The second case revolves around the death of Mia’s husband, Scott, which was ruled an accident at the time of the incident. At first, Mia is skeptical of Detective Charlie Carlson’s suggestion that Scott was murdered. But when she takes a closer look at the police report and also discovers more secrets her husband had been keeping, she wonders if Charlie may be right. The courts refuse to reopen the case, however, so Mia and Charlie do some digging of their own. Someone out there is not happy with the fact that Mia can’t leave well enough alone. He --- or she --- will do whatever it takes to make sure the truth about what happened to Scott stays buried. Even if it means burying Mia with it.
In addition to the legal plot lines, Mia is dealing with the challenges of being a single working mom and trying to come to grips with her emotions regarding her late husband, as well as suppressing a few romantic sparks that keep popping up between her and a close colleague.
I personally appreciate how both of the books in this series so far have dealt with a juvenile case. The questions and considerations raised about teen crime are thought-provoking. While multiple plot lines can often be complicated and confusing, here they blend seamlessly for a compelling and gratifying read.
Fast-paced and riveting, A DEADLY BUSINESS contains everything you’d expect from a legal thriller. Wiehl is a master storyteller, and her expertise as a trial lawyer and legal analyst only adds to the overall excellence of the novel. Of course, the investigative ingredient is the heart of the story, and the mystery and suspense --- with plenty of twists and turns --- are top-notch.
Often compared to bestselling authors like John Grisham and James Patterson, Wiehl has definitely proven her hand at legal thrillers, and co-author April Henry offers her talent in making the story come together. Wiehl and Henry make an impressive team and have partnered in several legal thrillers to date. LETHAL BEAUTY, the third book in the Mia Quinn series, releases in March 2015.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on July 17, 2014