Friday, March 13, 2009

Notorious adds book four to the Melanie Vargas series

Author: Michele Martinez
Series Connection: Melanie Vargas
Genre: Romantic Suspense


About to bring a famous rap star to trial for murder, Melanie Vargas becomes the sole witness when a car bomb kills the rapper's lawyer. Her career and her safety are on the line, but so is her heart: Melanie's relationship with the charismatic defense lawyer was more than strictly professional.

Determined to hunt down his killer, she finds herself in a dangerous world of subterfuge and double-crosses. The lawyer wasn't what he seemed. A lot of people wanted him dead, and as Melanie zeroes in on the answer, she finds she can't trust anybody -- not even those closest to her.

From the Author's Website:
Like Melanie Vargas, the main character in her novels, Michele Martinez had the privilege of serving as a federal prosecutor in New York City. For eight years she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, which covers some of the most drug- and gang-infested areas of Brooklyn and Queens. She specialized in narcotics, and we're not talking about busting high school kids selling pot, either. The Eastern District includes the airports and the ports serving New York City, so Michele had jurisdiction over the biggest narcotics organizations in the world.

My View:
Notorious is the fourth legal thriller to feature Melanie Vargas. This book starts off where the last book Cover-up end. Melanie witnesses a friend, and opposing defense attorney, Lester Poe, being killed when his car is blown up outside the Manhattan federal courthouse. Poe is a distinguished defense attorney who was representing a rap legend named Atari Briggs. Before he is killed, Poe tells Melanie that his client wants to make a deal, but suddenly after Poe's death, Briggs is saying there was never any talk about any deals.

Added to the mix is the fact that Poe's partner, Evan Diamond, takes over the Briggs case. Diamond has a reputation of being on the take and not being completely honest. Diamond will stop at nothing to get information even starting an affair with a young female attorney that works with Melanie. Soon Melanie realizes she doesn't quite know who to trust.

One of the things that make Michele's work so easy to read is that the scenes are action packed and fast moving and she keeps everything simple to follow along with. The mystery she leads readers on in trying to decide who killed Poe is interesting and leads the readers to several different people who might have wanted Poe dead. There are several twists and turns in the novel that keeps the reader wanting to read more.

Where I felt the story fell short was Melanie's interactions with her former boyfriend, FBI agent Dan O'Reilly. I kept expecting there to be more of the steamy scenes that were in the previous books, but this one fell short in that regard. Otherwise, it was a well written book that fans will want to read and see to the end.

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