Review: “Pacific Homicide,” Patricia Smiley

Pros: I definitely enjoy a good mystery
Cons: Things that have already been done to death
Rating: 3 out of 5

Pacific Homicide: A Mystery (A Pacific Homicide), by Patricia Smiley, introduces us to a detective Davie (Davina) Richards. A body washed up into the machinery of a sewage treatment plant–that of a nude young woman. Davie and her partner, Vaughn, have to find out who she was and what happened her. Some folks are trying to pass it off as a suicide–there’s pressure to close cases quickly. Meanwhile, a new IG has a grudge against Davie’s family and decides to re-open an investigation into a shooting she committed. He could easily ruin her entire career.

First, a few things that didn’t thrill me. Investigation/office politics plots don’t pull me in. Sometime about them repels me; I think I just find them too ‘real’ and thus depressing. Your mileage may vary. Second, we have the almost-standard (at this point) side-plot in which the female detective fell for her first partner (or an early partner). Okay, I get that this can happen, but it’s happening in so many books, and I feel like our female characters aren’t being allowed to behave professionally. They generally have plenty of other flaws, so can we ease off of this one for a while, please?

I like that Davie’s kind of a bulldog at heart and that she gets along pretty normally with the rest of her coworkers. It’s an interesting mystery. The glimpse into the underworld of Eastern Europeans moved to America is engaging, but again, it’s been done a lot already at this point.

I really like Davie as a character for the most part, but a lot of the plot pieces are just nothing new. I wouldn’t turn away a copy of other books in the series, but I wouldn’t seek them out, either.


Free copy of book provided for review by publisher

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