A Harvard bound high-school girl is found murdered. Her squeaky-clean, cheerleader, darling of the small town image is a faćade. Within a few pages, you’ll learn Kate Townsend is a girl of loose morals having an affair with a married doctor. Bodies pile and a fun who-done-it full of twists and thrills will pull you along. The main character, Penn Cage, is a former prosecutor and childhood friend of the doctor. Defending the doctor is like pulling teeth; he conveys details to his lawyer only in a cover-your-ass reveals, even though he proclaims innocence. Thus is the crux of Turning Angel.

There is a sexual element to this book that will be a complete turn-off to some and make many squirm uncomfortably: overtly sexual teenaged girls and the adult men in their lives. If an author can evoke a reaction from their reader, it’s a good thing, right? My reaction is disgust. Call me naive, but I hope this ugly stuff is primarily the imagination of the author and not close to the way people actually behave.

Good mystery, upsetting in some details.




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