4 out of 4 stars
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An Imperfect Crime by Fred G. Baker opens with three college friends, all English majors, who are fed up with not getting their books published. The friends devise a publicity stunt, which they believe is the perfect crime. A murder is staged, only to have the murderer relieved of all charges after the victim makes an appearance in court. When things don’t go according to plan, Detective Lori Sanchez and Father Guillermo Montero take it upon themselves to figure out what went down. And this book certainly twists and turns the whole way down.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I had a hard time putting it down. It was a thriller and mystery that captivated my attention and held it until the end. The original crime quickly weaves into a tale of disappearances, kidnappings, and drug cartels, morphing this from a traditional “whodunnit” novel to so much more.
My favorite part of the story is the friendship and working relationship between Lori Sanchez and Father Guillermo Montero. Sanchez, the only person to testify that the crime scene looked too perfect at trial, is a go-getter who truly puts herself on the line every day to see that justice is served. She is a compelling, engaging lead character who we see soften a bit as the story progresses. Father Montero, the man who visited the alleged murderer on death row before his sentence, is capable of carrying the story too. His police background enables him to work alongside Sanchez in a way that not many priests would be able to do.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and have difficulties drumming up criticism. My only complaint is how quickly the story starts. We are introduced to the main characters abruptly in the first scene as they outline a plan for a perfect crime. Then, we’re immediately thrust less than a year into the future to find that one of our characters shows up on death row. It was a bit jarring and honestly made me question if I wanted to continue reading. But after the first ten pages, things even out. There are also answers to questions that developed after the rush of the first few scenes.
This story is suitable for all audiences, and I believe it will be deeply enjoyed by those who enjoy mysteries and crime fiction. The ending left the door open for a sequel, and I certainly can’t wait to continue the series if there is!
An Imperfect Crime
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