Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review - - Such a Pretty Girl

Such A Pretty Girl
By Tess Diamond
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Reviewed by Nancy Northcott

Such a Pretty Girl revolves around FBI ace profiler Grace Sinclair, who writes crime novels on the side. Her career is going well until a serial killer starts murdering women who look like her. As her team rallies around to protect her and catch the murderer, they race to figure out their quarry’s identity before he kills again.

The newest recruit on the team complicates the situation for Grace.  She and Special Agent Gavin Walker had a one-night stand two years previously.  Determined to avoid entanglements, Grace seldom indulges in more than that with a man.  But seeing Gavin again reminds her what drew her to him in the first place.

As she and Gavin spend time together, the sparks between them rekindle.  But they know the killer will eventually target Grace.  Even after they figure out his identity, he eludes their efforts to catch him. Matters reach a desperate pass when he kidnaps someone close to Grace.

Can they set a trap to lure him in? Or will time run out for his latest victim?

Grace and Gavin are sympathetic characters and are easy to root for.  The other members of Grace’s team are drawn in enough detail to let the reader know them but not so much as to bog down the action.  Such a Pretty Girl includes references to earlier cases worked by this team, and Diamond provides enough to understand the early situation in the context of the present one without explaining everything about it.

The villain’s motivation is believable and clearly explained but not predictable or easy to spot. The FBI team work together as a competent and interesting ensemble.

In general, the story moves well. It’s a bit slow at the beginning because there are a couple of places where chunks of backstory drop into conversations.  When that happens, I always wonder what Character B is doing while Character A is mentally running through all of this. After the first couple of chapters, though, that isn’t a problem. The resolution seems to come on a bit quickly, but it works.