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Book Review: Get your crime junkie fix with "The Devil to Pay"

If you've never read Fradkin's previous "An Inspector Green" mysteries, fear not! This is her 11th book in the long-running series, but it's effortless to jump right into the Inspector Green world. Now that I've read "The Devil to Pay," it's inspired me to read the other books in the series to learn more about Green's past cases and the Easter eggs scattered throughout.

Green's daughter, Hannah, is a newly-minted officer thrown into a complex domestic disturbance at a wealthy lawyer's home. Reports of other domestic disturbances and violence from the house inspire Hannah to try and dive deeper into the family's dynamics and problems. She's later kicked off the case for her obsession and rule-breaking tendencies. Right as our headstrong policewoman is kicked to the curb, the husband Ted disappears and is later found dead in the woods. Determined to prove her worth and help his widow Kristina, Hannah continues her search for the murderer yet is conflicted as her father pushes her to follow her hunches while reminding her that she lacks any authority within the investigation.

On the flip side, Green longs to be out solving complex cases but is stuck doing administrative work for the police department. After Hannah is drawn into the case drama, Green sticks his nose into the official investigation and is eventually drawn in.

Despite the easy-to-love characters and complex case, "The Devil to Pay" has a slow start that doesn't pick up until the last quarter of the novel. For the majority of the book, I was left wondering, "So when is sh*t going to hit the fan?" and my question was eventually answered with the dramatic climax. The occasional suspenseful event isn't enough to build up the necessary tension and drama for the finale. Still, it is enough to leave your heart pounding just a little bit.

The case itself is a complex and twisted observation into the intricacies of marriage, domestic abuse, and how far someone is willing to go to protect their own. Green and Hannah's relationship parallels Kristina and her daughter Justine's–both parents would do anything for their children, and the daughters face the repercussions of their love. Fradkin's parallel relationships twist and turn with each parent and child's actions–making for puzzling revelations and well-rounded characters.

Police procedurals aren't really my thing, but Fradkin and "The Devil to Pay" may have changed my mind. Puzzling, complex, and a tad bit dark, "The Devil to Pay" is an easy read to get your crime junkie fix.

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