Deadly Obsession (Detective Lexie Rogers #2)
Karen M. Davis
Simon & Schuster AUS
Copy courtesy of the publisher
Early on a winter morning in Sydney, two walkers find the body of a young woman near Clovelly Beach. She’s laying perfectly arranged, clutching a red rose in her hand. Oddly, there’s a puncture wound on her neck and an empty packet of prescription drugs in her jacket pocket. At first glance, if not for the puncture wound, it could be an overdose or suicide. But Detective Lexie Rogers and her partner Brad Sommers know that this is murder.
The victim Melissa was a British nurse who had only been in Australia six months. She also worked with Lexie’s ex-husband, paramedic Zach and the closer Lexie digs, the more connections she keeps finding. Melissa and Zach may have also been briefly involved and Melissa is also friends with and works with the woman who destroyed Lexie’s marriage to Zach.
Lexie needs something to keep her busy since Josh Harrison broke up with her and left for Bali to grieve over his sister’s untimely death. Lexie herself is still struggling with what has happened to her in the past, both the incident when she was still stationed at Kings Cross and also the one involving the bikie chapter when she first moved to Bondi Junction. She’s working on suppressing the panic attacks and the fear although too often she finds her thoughts straying to Josh. And if this case wasn’t close to home enough, it’s going to get even more so and it’s going to bring Josh back into her life.
Lexie gets to lead the investigation and she finds herself attracting the attention of the killer. If Lexie doesn’t figure out who it is soon enough, the next victim could be a friend of hers…or even Lexie herself.
I really enjoyed the first Detective Lexie Rogers book, Sinister Intent which was released last year and I had been looking forward to the next one after finding out Lexie would be getting another story. In some ways, this book is a really excellent follow up to Sinister Intent and in Lexie we have an interesting female protagonist. She’s a new detective, she’s at a relatively new posting and she’s still getting over the horrific things that have happened to her in the past. She is very organised and controlled and she has coping mechanisms that she uses to get her through situations that may cause her to begin to panic. In this book, Lexie is given the lead on the investigation, despite the fact that she’s the junior officer. Despite his constant eating and laid back manner, it seems that Brad is a good partner and he and Lexie tend to go well together. He’s protective of her (this is especially obvious when Lexie’s ex-husband Zach is introduced into the story) and it’s quite clear he’s also really cheering for her and Josh to be able to patch up their differences and get back together whenever Josh comes back from Bali. He also meddles in this a little as well, but in a kind way I think.
Which brings me to Josh. I have to admit, I didn’t have a lot of love for him here. I did like him in the first book and I know that grief is a powerful thing and Josh is struggling with something that borders very closely (perhaps too closely) on alcoholism. I felt that Lexie’s determination to hold her ground against him for a while was solid – he had done something pretty jerk-like and had rejected not only her but also her love and support. So therefore I also felt that she collapsed like a house of cards all too easily and perhaps this was because Josh’s involvement in this book rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted Lexie to make him work for it, because it was no less than he deserved really, after a month pickling his liver in Bali. Josh also seemed to play into my feelings about him when he is supposed to be waiting for Lexie in her apartment but he ends up leaving because someone rings him and asks him out for a drink, despite the fact that he knows that the killer has a key to Lexie’s apartment and has already been into the apartment. They get the locks changed but honestly Josh, would it have been so hard to wait until she got home? It might’ve been handy if you did. If there’s a third novel with Lexie, I hope Josh grows up a bit and dries out.
I did like the extra glimpses into Lexie’s life that meeting Zach and several people from her past provided. There was enough there to give the reader the basic idea of what happened but you didn’t get any information about them as a couple other than what brought about their break up so there’s always plenty of room for Zach to reappear in the future. I was really intrigued by the mystery and thought it was paced out rather well and even though I guessed the culprit it was around the same time that the detectives did as well so it wasn’t something that felt too easy or totally out of left field. But I think the best bit in the book was the epilogue – truly chilling!
Book #160 of 2014
Deadly Obsession is book #59 read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014