Loyalty – Ingrid Thoft

 3.5/5 Ambulance-chasing Lawyers

On The Back:

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.

My Thoughts:

I first heard about Ingrid Thoft when she joined one of my favorite blogs, Jungle Red Writers, a blog dedicated to a group of women who write crime fiction (other “cozy” members include Rhys Bowen, Jenn McKinlay, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Lucy Burdette). Soon after she joined the blog, I picked up a copy of her first book at a used book store and it’s sat on my shelf since. I was wanting a faster-paced mystery this weekend, so I decided to pick up this book, and boy, was it faster paced! Loyalty was a fast-paced, gripping read that kept me at the edge of my seat.

I loved Fina. Absolutely loved her. She was a no-nonsense, strong, smart, and funny MC who didn’t care what others thought of her. Milloy and Christian were also interesting characters, and I loved the scenes with both of them. Scotty and the rest of Fina’s family were well-written and fleshed out.

The setting is beautiful Boston, and it well-described, but the real star is the mystery. This mystery had so many different parts to it that I never thought they would come together, but they did, and when they did, they made complete sense. The mystery alone deserves five stars.

However, there were a few aspects I didn’t like about the book, mostly because the book wasn’t cozy, so some topics cozy mysteries tend to steer clear of this book touched on.

Overall a solid book. Next time I want a mystery that’s not quite cozy, I’ll get the second in this series.

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