Devil Sent the Rain
Lisa Turner     

Genre: Mystery

Edgar Award nominee and bestselling author Lisa Turner’s hard-boiled Detective Billy Able returns in this dark Southern mystery about the murder of a dazzling Memphis socialite—and the scandals revealed in the wake of her death

The heart can be an assassin. Detective Billy Able knows that from experience.

Fresh from solving Memphis’ most sensational murder case, Homicide Detective Billy Able and his ambitious new partner Frankie Malone are called to a bizarre crime scene on the outskirts of town. A high society attorney has been murdered while dressed in a wedding gown. Billy is shocked to discover he has a very personal connection to the victim. When the attorney’s death exposes illegal practices at her family’s prestigious law firm, the scandal is enough to rock the southern city’s social world.

In a tale of the remnants of Old South aristocracy and entitlement, twisted by greed and vengeance, Billy must confront the secrets of his own past to have any chance at solving the murder of the girl he once knew. But as he seeks the truth, he’s drawn closer to an embittered killer bent on revenge—and eliminating the threat Billy poses.

Detective Billy Able and his new partner Frankie Malone are assigned to an unusual case of a would-be bride found dead dressed in her wedding gown at an isolated animal refuge. If this isn't strange enough, the case gets even more complicated when Billy discovers he has a personal connection to the victim, high-society attorney Caroline Lee. Although Billy had known Caroline and her family for years, he tries to remain objective while seeking justice for Caroline. Frankie is just as determined to solve the case even though she didn't know Caroline, but she does have hopes that doing a good job on the investigation will help advance her career. The two detectives must learn to trust each other while solving a difficult, high-profile case involving the secrets of a wealthy, powerful Memphis family.

This is the first time I've read anything by author Lisa Turner, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I found the book to be well-written and intriguing. I enjoyed the Memphis setting and getting a glimpse of modern society there and seeing how the old South still plays a part of what goes on in that area. The characters have depth and the plot is more complex than it originally appears, as the victim’s personal and professional life come to play in the case. While the investigation moves forward at a steady pace throughout the book, the central questions of the investigation, why was Caroline wearing her wedding gown and who murdered her, remain unanswered until the end. This keeps the tension level high until the very end. When the killer is finally revealed, it isn't who I was expecting and I enjoyed being surprised.

I like both Billy and Frankie as main characters. They have different backgrounds and are at different stages in their careers, but both are good people and good detectives, and their partnership works. In the beginning, I thought Billy could have given more credit to Frankie, but I was glad to see he seems to appreciate her more by the end of the book and could see how good of a team they could be. The characters, plot, and steady pace combine for an interesting novel that will appeal to a wide range of readers. I would definitely love to read more by this author.

~ Christine