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by Nancy Boyarsky
Light Messages Publishing, August 2017
230 pages
ISBN: 161153190X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Nicole Graves, an office manager at a Los Angeles law firm, has just stepped off the plane from a visit to London when she's told that the firm's investigator, Robert Blair, is missing. She finds him soon enough—in his home, dead of a bullet wound through his head.

Almost immediately, she falls under suspicion, mostly because Robert had photo after photo of her in his home, as well as a piece of lingerie that Nicole owned. While Nicole, 32, was friendly with the older man, she is further surprised to learn she is the sole beneficiary of a hefty bequest—not only does she get his mansion in Sunset Hills, but a cabin and his savings.

Police are not the only ones picking apart Nicole's life. There's the paparazzi, outside both her workplace and her home, as well as a mysterious stranger in an SUV. It's not the first time Nicole's been in trouble, and on the run from danger. Boyarsky's debut novel, THE SWAP, had Nicole and her then-husband swapping houses for a stay in London in a vacation from hell. As THE BEQUEST opens, Nicole is wondering what has happened to her lover, former London cop Ronald Reinhardt, who now works for a secretive agency. He was supposed to meet her in London, but never showed. One flaw of the book is that she doesn't seem overly concerned, and a week later has a new boyfriend, the younger Josh Mulhern. One would expect her to put her new investigative skills toward finding Reinhardt.

In fact, Nicole seems to have switched personalities as she switched cities, becoming a little less likable in this second book. However, she is a smart protagonist who doesn't wait for a man to save her, and the pacing is nonstop action. It's a good story, and works well (maybe even better) if you haven't read the first book.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, August 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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