Diva (Frank Renzi #2) by Susan Fleet Review

March 27, 2013

Diva (Frank Renzi, #2)

Diva (Frank Renzi #2) by Susan Fleet Review

‘Any day without a murder was a good day in New Orleans’ were words to live by for Frank Renzi, a homicide detective stationed out of the Eighth District homicide office. Always short on supplies and detectives unfortunately there seemed to be an unending supply of crimes and bad guys. Four years ago Frank Renzi left the Boston police force and relocated to New Orleans. Most put the move down to his wife divorcing him but it was so much more than that. Not many know of the young girl who died because Renzi couldn’t save her. He meets a fellow officer, Kelly O’Neil, and is instantly attracted to her and it would seem the feeling is mutual.He’s trying to build a life in New Orleans and is finally thinking that maybe happiness can be his.

Then two back to back cases have him racing the clock to save a young girl and worrying about a stalker.

Brenda Scully, wonderful flute soloist whose career is starting to rise quickly, doesn’t believe there is really a problem. Her manager/friend, Jake Ziegler believes someone tried to kill her on the anniversary of her parents’ accidental death. As Renzi is talking with them both he realizes that they are both hiding something, Renzi’s just not sure what it is. Before he gets any further the phone rings…a cop’s down!

Telling them he will contact them in the morning, Renzi heads out to the site of the cop shooting. An off duty policeman went into a convenience store for cigarettes and interrupted an attempted robbery. Using a female customer as a shield the two robbers shot the cop and took off with the woman customer and a stolen car.

After arriving at the scene of the officer shooting incident, Renzi runs down a young girl fleeing from the scene. He knows from witness reports that she wasn’t inside the store but his cop instinct is telling him she is definitely involved and very, very scared. Renzi is determined not to lose another young girl, not on his watch!

As Renzi’s time is taken up with his new lady friend, running down leads and generating new ones for both his cases, everything soon starts spiraling out of control. Now with the death toll rising in both of his cases, Renzi must use all of his training and instincts to solve both these crimes.

I found this to be an intriguing look into Frank Renzi’s life as a homicide detective. With well developed characters, interesting plots (the 2 different crimes)and subplots (the interactions of the groups of detectives,and the groups of bad guys) and wonderful descriptions of the sights and sounds of a post-Katrina landscape and reality that the people of New Orleans are now having to face and deal with. I did find there was a little too much description of roads and directions to every place that Renzi went to and it didn’t add anything, for me it actually took away because I felt myself losing interest in the reason Renzi was on his way somewhere but that is just one minor thing. I have not read Absolution (Frank Renzi #1) but will definitely be looking for it.

Great stand alone novel, I can see this becoming a wonderful detective series.

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