Drawn – Carsen Taite

Riley Flynn is an urban artist on the verge of her first show at a prestigious Dallas gallery, when she becomes a person of interest in a murder investigation. The detectives in charge get even more interested in her when they find out her father is no other than Frank Flynn, who was recently released from jail after serving time for a murder he always swore he didn’t commit. Detective Claire Hanlon’s fascination in Riley isn’t purely professional, however, and the attraction is mutual.

There’s everything I like in Carsen Taite‘s books in this one too but there’s not enough of it. She’s a great crime writer, a perfect example of write what you know, and I always look forward to her court scenes and lawyers in action. There are a few of these in Drawn but so few that it’s frustrating. I want more of Morgan Bradley and Parker Casey (whom we first met in the excellent It Should Be a Crime and have come across a few times since in other novels), or any other smart and brilliant lawyers. Taite is also really good at romance, but besides meaningful looks, the chemistry didn’t really have time to blossom. It works, it’s plausible, but the narrative stays a tad too much on the surface for me.

The best parts are Riley’s ambiguous relationship with her father and his responsibility in what the family went through, and the mystery itself. There are just enough red herrings to make the discovery of the murderer and their motive mostly unexpected.

Even though I wish this novel was a bit longer, I really enjoyed it (which is also why I wish it was longer), it’s fast-paced and exciting and I liked the characters a lot, including Claire’s partner and Lacy Lofton, the owner of the gallery, whom I’d love to see have her own book…

4-stars

Drawn @ Bold Strokes Books

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