Fiona Fitzgerald Mystery #1: Detective Fiona Fitzgerald is an unlikely force for justice in Washington D.C’s predominantly male police force. As a prominent senator’s daughter and top investigator in the homicide division of the Metropolitan Police Department, Fiona maneuvers between two vastly different worlds, moving quickly from opulent State galas to gritty crime scenes.
Born into the elite social circles of the nation’s capital, and with privileged access to what lurks behind the pristine façade of the political establishment, Fiona is determined to expose the chicanery buried under prim rose bushes and concealed within the highest echelons of the American political aristocracy.
When a string of inexplicable murders rocks the hallowed streets of central D.C., Detective Fitzgerald finds herself charging through the shadows of a mysterious conspiracy. Fiona’s reputation and career blunder, however, through an investigation with no leads. At the brink of her professional demise, an encounter with the eccentric yet charismatic Thaddeus Remington III at his museum-like mansion sends Fiona fluttering through a whirlwind of clues and revelations. Where once the desperate detective rummaged through traceless footsteps of a triple murderer, the key to solving her case is now whispered to her from the bloodstained graves of fallen Presidents.
Fiona stands ready with her unlikely yet determined partner Jefferson at her side. Her finger firmly on the trigger as an assassination plot, decades in the making, is about to change history.
Thank you to Warren Adler and the Warren Adler Book Review Rewards Club for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book isn’t in my usual genre of choice, I tend to restrict my mystery novels to cozies and retro Agatha Christie but this author was highly recommended by a friend of mine with a trustworthy taste in literature so I jumped in line!
I don’t think that this book has been around quite long enough to be considered retro, though it was originally released in 1981 and at times does show its age – for example, the detective is doing some research using encyclopedias and a real life library (can you imagine such a thing?!). Not being familiar with Washington, I can’t be sure if the prejudices demonstrated within the police force in this book are still valid in this day and age or whether there has been a shift in the who-hates-whom dynamic but this doesn’t really effect the impact of the story.
This series follows the work of Fiona Fitzgerald, a female detective in the Washington homicide squad. She experiences so many barriers at work, not least the institutional sexism which got her her job but also keeps her from advancing.
The racial aspect of this story was fascinating as the majority of the police officers were black and less than fond of white officers, this was something I would have liked to read more of and am hopeful will be explored more fully as the series goes on.
Fiona is an interesting character. She has strong characteristics such as intelligence, stubbornness and dedication to her work but she also has a serious weakness when it comes to her taste in men. She accepts creepy neediness and neglect from her lover rather than being on her own, it takes the choice between him and her other love, her work, to open her eyes to his selfishness.
Bruce, said lover, was an absolute arse. I don’t usually take such a visceral dislike to a fictional character but BOY did I hate him. He was selfish and revolting but what made it so much worse was that he knew it and owned it.
Adler’s writing style is wonderful, the murder mystery part was well planned though not that mysterious – we knew who was responsible for the deaths and were taken along for the ride to see Fiona figure it out. What I found particularly fascinating was that this story took place in a world with which I am unfamiliar: Washington and its political intrigue.
My favourite part would have to be the world building and what I learnt about American politics and the dynamic within a police force so closely tied to the political system.
My one complaint about this novel was that the peripheral characters became a little confusing, without enough of a background for their identities to properly stick in my mind before moving on then reintroducing them.
If you’re a fan of David Baldacci or House of Cards, I think this is going to be the series for you!