The latest in the series finds Carolotta estranged from nearly everyone and not by her choice. Sam Gianelli is on the run somewhere overseas and can’t come home because of federal trouble in Vegas. He is refusing all help or contact and with things involving the feds, she isn’t going to get much help from those she remains in contact with the Boston, PD.
Then there is the matter of Paolina. Like Carolotta who is dealing with flashbacks, Paolina is not dealing well with her recent kidnapping and forced travel to Cartagena, Columbia. A blood bath ensued and in the chaos, Paolina saw her father die. She came home and shortly there after began harming herself. Placed in treatment, she is refusing to see Carlotta.
Alcohol isn’t helping Carlotta so Roz, her tenant assistant and just about everything else, decides it is time for Carolotta to work a case. Carolotta wasn’t ready but her private investigator business is in shambles. At least working a case will keep her somewhat occupied and give her some sense of normalcy.
Jessica Franklin wants to know if her fiancÃ© is stepping out on her. Instead of just asking him she wants to do things differently. All she wants is for Carlotta to follow the guy and see where he goes and who he meets if anyone. She doesn’t want him investigated, just followed. Â Jessica is supposed to get married in less then 2 weeks and is clearly feeling the pressure. But, according to the note that says he will be cheating on her while she is gone the next night, she could have a good reason to be worried.
Carolotta takes the case and soon discovers everything she believed, both professional and personal, is nothing more than a lie.
The latest is the series is a complex mystery as well as a novel where the emotional psyche of the characters is of huge importance. The deep inner feelings and things that drive us to do certain acts, self destructive or otherwise, fuel this novel. Whether it is alcoholism and other acts in Carlotta’s case, cutting done by Paolina, or Sam’s notorious sexual escapades, the psyche and why these things happen are huge factors in the book.
So too is a case where Carolotta, who certainly isn’t on her game initially, is constantly manipulated by everyone. Nothing is as it seems and friendships are strained and stressed in ways readers have not seen before.
At 292 pages this latest book in an overall very good series is a really good novel. From a reader’s stand point, stressed characters always make for good reading and there are a lot of very stressed characters in this novel full of twists and double dealing right to the last page. Simply put, this is one of her best books in years and one you should definitely read.
Lie Down With the Devil: A Carlotta Carlyle Novel
St. Martin’s Minotaur
Review copy provided by the good folks of the Plano Public Library System in Plano, Texas.
Kevin R. Tipple Â© 2008
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