Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Duplicity by Jane Haseldine
Julia Gooden is a journalist on the newspaper in Detroit. She is also a wife and mother to two sons. Her life is a balancing act like that of most working moms but hers is perhaps a bit more challenging. Her husband, David, is an assistant D. A. and the line between being partners and that of maintaining a professional distance is a fine one. Add on the fact that Julia and David are recently back together after a separation and it's easy to see that her marriage is a potential source of discord as they try to define borders while rebuilding trust.
David is in one of the biggest cases of his career. He is prosecuting Nick Rossi, a local gangster who controls much of the drug traffic along with other criminal enterprises. It is a high profile case and one that is potentially dangerous for David and the whole family as retaliation against law enforcement is not out of the question for the Rossi crime syndicate. Julia is covering the case for her newspaper, an assignment she had to fight for due to the inherent potential for accusations of favoritism.
As she goes to the court one day, Julia is distracted. Her elder son, six, is on his way there on a school field trip, and she is trying to coordinate covering the trial with meeting his class during the lunch break to help shepherd them through the courthouse. The court is tense that day as David reveals in the trial that he has a new witness, one of Rossi's former associates who will blow the case wide open. Julia is in the foyer waiting on her son's bus when a bomb goes off in an apparent attempt to assassinate the witness. Her son hasn't yet arrived but David is not that lucky. He is caught in the blast along with the judge and both are rushed to the hospital along with the other victims.
Julia is determined to find out who planted the bomb and to find the evidence that will put Rossi away for good. As she delves into his empire, she starts to discover that nothing she thought she knew was right and that the very foundation of her own life is unstable. She works in partnership with two local policemen she has known for years and their efforts take them further and further into the mysteries that underlie Nick Rossi's life.
Jane Haseldine's second Julia Gooden mystery is a fast-paced and interesting read. Julia is impetuous and haunted by a childhood that she is determined to put in the past. Her balancing act between being a mother, wife and professional will ring true to many women. Her struggle to find a way to trust others after her past is compelling. This book is recommended for mystery readers.