In Pirro’s second thriller, prosecutor Dani Fox faces a gruesome and mysterious murder case. When she learns that the victim had family ties to the New Jersey mafia, as well as had an illicit affair with a member of a New York crime family, the case goes from tricky to downright dangerous. As if squaring off against a powerful crime family who want her dead weren’t enough to handle, Fox begins to suspect the murder is more than a simple crime of passion. -- Hyperion
I admit I was a little reluctant to pick up CLEVER FOX by Jeanine Pirro. It wasn't that I didn't think I'd enjoy this mystery. Rather, it was that CLEVER FOX is the second in the Dani Fox series, and I just wasn't sure that I wanted to start with book two. However, I was promised that this book worked as a stand-alone. After reading this novel in just a few hours, I can attest to the fact that you don't have to read book one first. I can also say that I enjoyed it so much that I want to go back and read SLY FOX, the first book in the series.
CLEVER FOX tells the story of New Jersey prosecutor Dani Fox and her quest to solve a horrific murder case. On New Year's Eve while celebrating with her newspaper reporter boyfriend, Dani gets word that a woman was brutally murdered -- I'm talking skinned alive kind of brutal. As she delves into the murder mystery, she discovers that the victim has various ties to the mob. Dani's search becomes more dangerous than she ever expected. Not only is she stirring up trouble with two different New Jersey mafia families, but she also begins questioning things in her personal life.
I found CLEVER FOX to be extremely readable. I actually took this book to the beach and it was absolutely perfect. The story was extremely fast-paced and I was kept guessing for the entire story. I liked Dani and I was intrigued by both her professional and personal lives. Ms. Pirro is a terrific storyteller, and I wouldn't hesitate to read another book by her.
One of the things that was apparent from very early on in the novel was that Ms. Pirro knew her stuff. In fact, I'm pretty sure that she based much of Dani's character on her own life. Ms. Pirro was a trial prosecutor and even started one of the nation's first domestic violence units. I am assuming that many of the "issues" that Dani faced as a woman in this field were similar, if not the same, as what Ms. Pirro faced. Furthermore, her explanations of the intricacies of the legal system were very concise and clear.
I also thought the author did a good job with balancing the mystery in the novel with the events in Dani's personal life. She even managed to blur them to make things even more intriguing. I actually loved how Dani began doubting her boyfriend (with good reason) while also trying to figure out whom she could trust. Just think -- Dani had to deal with two mafia families with plenty of suspects for the murder. Plus she had a mysterious FBI agent and her current boyfriend vying for her attention while also giving her a reason to suspect both of them!
And truth be told, the mystery in CLEVER FOX was outstanding. Like Dani, I was kept guessing until the very end. There were numerous twists and turns and I especially enjoyed how the tension just kept building until the final pages of the book.
Overall, I really enjoyed CLEVER FOX. Recommended for fans of mysteries and thrillers!
Thanks to Tandem Literary for providing a review copy of this novel.
Giveaway alert: I have a copy of CLEVER FOX to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before September 22nd at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!
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.