A rookie detective stares at his well-respected police captain, convinced that the man has murdered four people. What follows is a dizzying and exhilarating chase that challenges everything the detective thought he knew about his friends and, ultimately, himself.
Fine Points Malice and Payback (Patchwork) completely engrosses the reader in Detective Andrew Coates’s every suspicion and wrong move. He is young but earnest, completely devoted to his cases no matter where they lead. And when he finds himself falling for one of his victims’ sisters, Coates worries that he is making himself too vulnerable.
Author Sherrie Todd-Beshore writes characters so well that I found myself thinking all this really happened once. Dr. Lopez offers expert advice between coffees in the morgue. Pastor Reynolds notices Andrew’s loneliness and introduces him to the Tucson community. A group of homeless men becomes Andrew’s best friends. Each person becomes crucial to his investigation. Sometimes, they become suspects.
Detective Coates has no superpowers; he is not Sherlock Holmes. He misses key details. He gets frustrated. The reader feels the shock and dismay with him. He is held back by the effects of his abandonment as a child, but the reader urges him on. Each red herring is another chance for the Coates and reader to follow another lead.
Fine Points crackles with possibility. The cases are constantly getting more complex; people we thought we knew become unrecognizable. Andrew grows from a deferential foster kid on the periphery to working with the FBI to catch his crooks.
However, some of my favorite parts reading Fine Points were at the Chavez cotton farm watching the sunset or having dinner with Andrew’s beloved social worker. Both the detective and the reader get the chance to breathe. We see why Andrew pushes himself so hard to protect the people he loves. We also dive into an alternate plotline: Andrew’s search for his parents and identity.
Left in a box and wrapped only in a wool coat—hence the name “Coates”—Andrew started life forgotten. He constantly battles this side of himself as he works tirelessly to uncover every secret in his investigations. Ultimately, the mysteries collide.
Emotional, surprising and vast in its cast of characters and locations, Fine Points will suck you in and keep you tearing through its pages. Todd-Beshore’s writing style is easy to get into. We fall into the motions of vengeful lovers, pioneering murder weapons and secret tunnels just like Andrew does.
Once we start, there is no holding back until every mystery is solved.
Fine Points Malice and Payback is available for purchase.
About Sherrie Todd-Beshore
Sherrie began writing and publishing as a reporter then editor of my high school newspaper ‘The Static’. Ten years later she committed to writing columns and features professionally for weekly magazines then daily newspapers in Alberta, Canada – Colorado, USA and New York. In 2006 I took another writing leap leaving journalism for full-time fiction: MG/YA mystery and adult suspense-thrillers.