Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: A Fresh Set of Eyes by Liz Strange

A Fresh Set of Eyes
By Liz Strange
David Lloyd Investigations #2

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Things have changed for David Lloyd since his last case left him recovering from a gunshot wound and showered with the respect and admiration of law enforcement for bringing down a major crime ring (see my review of the first book). His relationship with his partner couldn't be better now that Jamie was living openly as a gay man and acknowledged David to his family and coworkers. All was looking pretty great until his next client walked in the door with a complex and somewhat futile assignment.

The set up
Ten years ago, three young teenagers were given life sentences for the brutal murders of two young boys. The mother of one of the convicted, Sandra Klassen, hired David to reinvestigate the case to find evidence that would exonerate her son. The notoriety David received from the last case convinced her that he was up to the job. Talk about pressure.

The issues
Although it's been ten years, the memory of the case is still fresh for many who were involved or impacted because they believed the teens were wrongly convicted. While David finds plenty to support that point of view, one he shares, it's all pretty circumstantial and he's going to also need to find out the identity of the real murderer. But, not everyone is willing to cooperate, including the murdered children's mother, and there were a lot of lies told the first go round.

What I liked about the story
This is one of those procedural style mysteries that you get caught up in as the investigation progresses. You get to use your own deductive reasoning as David solidly works the investigation, providing a lot of clues to work through simultaneously and independently. Some of the characters were murky and others who seemed to be an open book had more angles. An added bonus is his relationship with Jamie. Their evolution as an openly gay couple made such a difference for them and the impact on family, friends and co-workers was sensitively portrayed without overdramatizing the reactions. David is pretty special and Jamie is a hottie.

The bottom line
This is an interesting story, inspired by the West Memphis Three. There are a lot of characters to weed out and that made it even more enjoyable, especially as I was able to figure out whodunit before the end. I like these characters, the light element of romance, the strong elements of unconventional family and relationships, and the meaty and interesting case that anchor the story. I'm hoping this series continues and if you like thorny murder/crime investigations, I highly recommend you read both books.

About the author
Liz was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario where she still resides with her family and a menagerie of pets. When not working, writing or spending time with her family she enjoys reading, watching scary movies, spicy food and hitting the gym.
 Liz is a self-confessed sci-fi nerd, loving Star Trek, X-Files, and Torchwood. She also loves anything to do with mythology, history and anthropology, and has a long-standing fascination with ancient Greece and Easter Island.
She has been an avid reader from childhood, and has always been attracted to stories that deal with the darker side of human nature, mysteries, crime, and things that go bump in the night. Her true (and undying) love for vampires was born when she got her hands on a copy of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot.
Liz loves to hear from her readers and will answer any questions sent her way. 
And yes this is her real name!


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