Saturday, October 20, 2018

Warped Ambition Review

Title:  Warped Ambition
Series:  Jo Riskin Mysteries #1
Author:  Debbie S. Tenbrink
Genre:  Mystery/Suspense
Release Date:  Dec. 26, 2016
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating: 4 Mysterious Hearts

*Many thanks to the author for a copy of this book

When the battered body of a teenage girl is found in a dumpster, Lieutenant Jo Riskin is called to take the case. Investigating with her partner, Detective Lynae Parker, Jo uncovers secrets, loyalties, and ambitions that give motives to a surprising number of suspects , including a boyfriend from the wrong side of the tracks.

While immersed in her current case, Jo is battling her own personal demons. After two years, she is still grieving over the loss of her husband, who was killed in the line of duty. New information that could help solve his murder, and let her move on with her life, is within her grasp.

Barricading her heart, Jo is determined to solve both cases and bring the killers to justice.

Warped Ambition is the debut novel of author Debbie Tenbrink, and the first book in the Jo Riskin Mystery Series.  It excites me to be introduced to a new-to-me mystery/suspense author and a series with so much promise and potential! This intense, fast-paced story is well-written, and I soon found myself unable to put it down.

Lt. Jo Riskin and her partner Detective Lynae Parker are working the case of a brutally murdered pregnant fifteen year old girl whose body was tossed in a dumpster - like yesterday's trash.  The twisted plotline results in several motives and suspects surfacing and for some time, I wasn't sure who did it.  While I did eventually figure out what was going on, it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story as the strong characterizations and attention to detail kept me turning the pages to the end.  Adding to the intrigue and conflict in Warped Ambition is the fact that readers learn Jo is also privately working the case of her own husband's unsolved murder in a drug raid gone bad two years previously.  She's obsessed with finding his killer, and it's through her investigation that we see the strong yet vulnerable woman who is unable to let go of the past and move forward.  Some of the most poignant, heart-touching scenes in this book are Jo's visits to her husband's grave and the ensuing "conversations" she has with him.  There's a hint of a possible love-interest to come for Jo, and I look forward to seeing if it blossoms and if anyone can bring the walls around her heart tumbling down.

Warped Ambition is an intense, intriguing debut novel that I enjoyed reading in a couple of sittings.  Tenbrink's vivid, descriptive writing style sets the stage and tone early, carrying readers on an emotional and tense journey as the search for a killer culminates with a surprising twist.  I'm looking forward to more from this author and series!  A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Mysterious Hearts . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx

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