If you’re like me, you keep and re-read those books that make your feelings soar with happiness or else make you cry. But there is something to be said for those books that take the middle road, with no exuberant highs or despondent lows, simply telling a good story with solid writing. Risking Trust by Adrienne Giordano is one such book.
The hero, Michael Taylor, has been accused of murdering his estranged wife. There is circumstantial evidence against him, and the police are uninterested in searching for any other suspects. Fear of being railroaded has Michael going to his ex-girlfriend, the girl he dumped to marry the murdered woman, with a deal. If she’ll use her investigators and her newspaper to help Michael mount a defense and find the real killer, he’ll give her paper exclusive rights to his story.
Roxann Thorgesson has just inherited the number two Chicago newspaper. She’s still grieving her father’s untimely and sudden death by heart attack, and she’s struggling with her new, huge responsibilities. Issues with her workers and their union are an additional worry. The last thing she needs is to become involved again with the man who broke her heart twelve years ago, but Michael’s plea and the appeal of exclusive rights to a major murder case story sway her, and she agrees to Michael’s deal. With the help of a staff investigator, Michael and Roxann start accumulating clues and following leads. When the paper’s press is vandalized, it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want Roxann involved.
I liked a lot about this book. I was pretty sure I had the mystery solved early on, but the resolution was a lot more complicated than I had supposed – always a plus. The writing and editing were competent, and the pages just flew by. There is a lot of information about the newspaper industry and efforts to produce a paper daily, which I found interesting and different. The main and secondary characters are all well illustrated and the love story is satisfying.
One thing that stuck in my craw was Michael’s refusal to discuss the events of the past. He was suffering PTSD when he met Roxann and her love helped him heal. She thought they were forever, but he just up and dumped her and married another woman soon after. I was indignant on Roxann’s behalf, especially since Michael’s treatment of her contributed to Roxann’s emotional problems. Which leads to the second thing I didn’t enjoy: Roxann’s habit of talking herself through stressful situations. She did it a lot. A whole lot. But eventually Michael explains, even though his reasons are hurtful to Roxann, and Roxann eventually stops stressing.
So, while this book is unlikely to cause waves in the bibliophile community, it is a good, enjoyable read that I have no problems recommending.