“Justified” is Carolyn Arnold”s second book in the Madison Knight series. When we last left off with Madison (Ties that Bind), she had solved a difficult case, was gifted with a dog for Christmas, and has herself a new suitor. As is the case for a detective in the police force, just because you solve a case, doesn’t mean another one isn’t forthcoming. If you haven’t read the first book in this series, a little about our heroine, Madison Knight. She is a tough cop, in her 30’s and single, though she does have a new boyfriend. Madison is totally dedicated to her job, and thinks nothing of working through the night. Her partner, Terry Grant, is not quite as dedicated as Madison, as he usually wants to call it a night early, as he does have someone to go home to.
It’s Christmas Eve, and Madison knew better then to answer her cell phone. Murders do not stop for holidays, so now she is spending Christmas Eve dealing with the murder of a woman found in her home, with her throat slashed.
This case will be a difficult one for Madison and Terry, as the victim had a long long list of people who hated her and wanted her dead. Everyone was a suspect, and yet everyone seemed to be hiding or protecting someone.
This was an excellent mystery, just when you thought you knew who the killer was.....there was another twist. There were so many people involved, it was impossible to venture a guess as to who the murderer was. I am usually good at solving mysteries early on, but not so here.
Madison’s dedication to her job and determination to the find killer makes her a great cop. As I had said during my review of the previous book, I find the lack of respect for Madison by her superiors somewhat annoying. She solves her crimes, does it fairly quickly, and yet she gets no respect. Her partner Terry, was better in this book, though at times I do not find myself endeared to him. I would like to see some of these secondary characters become more likeable, as is the case in the J.D. Robb In-Death series. Their entire secondary cast is great and supportive in that series.
The secondary stories within the book were very good. I loved Madison trying to figure out how to handle Hershey, her new puppy. It was really heartwarming when she finally learns to warm up to him near the end. Throughout the story, her relationship with Blake (her new boyfriend), is a main part of the story, as she finds herself falling hard for him. But just when she slips and tells him that she is falling in love with him, they both pull away, fearing commitment. As Madison is working hard to solve the crime, her heart is heavy, as the issue with Blake effects her, especially during her interrogations. Another nice ending, with the two of them coming to terms and giving their relationship a try. Something we can look forward to in future books.
I enjoyed the story, as Carolyn Arnold kept you on your toes throughout. There were so many suspects, and twists, it was difficult, but not hard to follow along. As I mentioned in the previous review, Carolyn knows her police procedures, and knows how to tell a great detective story. This was an exciting story, and very well done.Barb