The Bottom Line: A hugely enjoyable tale of murder, romance and redemption set in small town America. Add this gem to your must-read list.
Realtor Randi Lassiter spends her free time as a private investigator for a divorce attorney who needs visual evidence of couples engaged in the most lascivious deeds imaginable. Hardened by the misdeeds of her own adulterous ex, and gifted with her camera, Randi is seemingly at peace with the nasty reputation she’s earned with the people in her small Wisconsin community: “Randi knew people liked to talk and knew full well what they said about her. She was the one who peeped in windows for money.” But while trying to catch a local bank executive in the act, the discovery of a dead body turns Randi’s world upside down.
Enter Detective Jon Bricksen, the ruggedly handsome lead investigator on the case. Bricksen is a recent transplant from the relatively bright lights of Milwaukee, and sparks fly as he interrogates Randi: “You went to the trouble to get a PI license just so you can photograph people having sex. Is the housing market that bad?”
Despite the circumstances, an undeniable attraction awakens something in Randi, who has been comfortably single for far too long. But romance won’t come easy, as Bricksen quickly determines that a serial killer is on the loose.
With Still Life, D.B. Kennison has created a true rarity in the romantic suspense genre – a deliberately flawed heroine with a lovable set of talents, motivations and supporting cast. Her employee and sidekick, CJ, serves as a brilliant counter to Randi’s personality. The idea of seeing people having sex makes CJ cringe, and her idea of a good time is a night at home with a pie and a Hallmark movie. Together, they make a compelling duo that you can’t help but want to spend time with, and the simmering tension between Bricksen and Lassiter is brilliantly played.
Let’s hope that Kennison is plotting an entire series for Ms. Lassiter.