Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: Loyalty

Summary: The Ludlows are a hard-charging family, and patriarch Carl Ludlow treats his offspring like employees—which they are. But his daughter, Fina, is a bit of a black sheep. A law school dropout, her father keeps her in the fold as the firm’s private investigator, working alongside her brothers.

Juggling her family of high-powered (and highly dysfunctional) attorneys, the cops and Boston’s criminal element is usually something Fina does without breaking a sweat. But when her sister-in-law disappears, she’s caught up in a case unlike any she’s encountered before.

Carl wants things resolved without police interference, but the deeper Fina digs, the more impossible that seems. The Ludlows close ranks, and her brother Rand and his unruly teenage daughter Haley grow mysteriously distant from the family. As Fina unearths more dirt, the demands of family loyalty intensify. But Fina is after the truth—no matter the cost. -- Putnam

I have read some really fantastic books this summer, but I still wanted something special to feature for Mystery Mondays. I think I finally found it. The book is LOYALTY by Ingrid Thoft, and the hype surrounding this novel is for real. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, and it also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly!

I picked up LOYALTY a few days ago and it's a good thing I didn't have a whole lot going on in my life besides taking my kids to their activities. I honestly couldn't put down this novel. I was drawn to the main character Fina Ludlow as well as the supporting cast, and I was very intrigued by this murder mystery. I also loved the humor and sexiness that were incorporated into the story as well as the "creepy factor."

LOYALTY begins with follows Fina Ludlow as she searches for her sister-in-law who went missing. Fina works as a P.I. for her father's law firm after she chose not to follow in her brothers' footsteps as lawyers, and she's a bit of black sheep as a result of this decision. Fina realizes that the law firm's (and her family's) ethics are questionable, but she still feels an obligation to protect them.

As Fina unravels the secrets behind her sister-in-law's disappearance, she also begins to learn some pretty dark secrets about her own family. While her father expects her to protect her family, Fina wants to reveal the truth even knowing that it might harm those she loves.

My summary of the book doesn't even begin to touch the surface of the complexity of this mystery. There are quite a few twists and turns as well as some pretty seedy characters like a member of the mob and a high class madam. Fina also manages to surround herself with two pretty hot guys -- a detective and a massage therapist.

LOYALTY is entertaining on so many levels. I've read quite a few suspense/mystery novels since starting Mystery Mondays, and LOYALTY struck me as being fresh and original. I loved Ms. Thoft's writing style and the character of Fina is absolutely fantastic. I found the way she balanced managing her family and the case to be rather smart, and I do think Fina comes across as someone you don't want to mess with.

I mentioned that LOYALTY does have some pretty funny parts; however, don't let that fool you. This novel is gritty and the crimes committed throughout the story made my skin crawl. The story is also action-packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I am sincerely hoping that LOYALTY is the first in a series starring Fina Ludlow. I absolutely love this character! She's smart and spunky and she's not afraid of anyone. And her insight into her family (and its flaws) is absolutely hilarious. Ms. Thoft, if you're reading this, please write more books with Fina!

I loved LOYALTY and I do believe it's the perfect summer read if you're looking for an entertaining murder mystery. Highly recommended!

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I need to try this. I like books about P.I.s!

bermudaonion said...

I knew you were loving this book as you were reading it. I think I will, too, because I love the addition of humor in a gritty novel - it keeps the tension from becoming unbearable.

Beth F said...

I've been seeing some great things about Loyalty, but your review (which is excellent!) pushed me over the edge. I must make time to read it.