I have to say one thing for Dead Reckoning – it was a fast read. I read it in one sitting. The pace moved along quickly, but after I finished the book, I realized I hadn’t enjoyed it that much. The characters didn’t engage me, and there were a couple of plot points that seemed completely unrealistic after I really thought about what happened.
Kate Megason is an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas. She loves her job; it consumes her life and she likes it that way. She has few friends and no social life to speak of. She is ambitious, clever and has high standards for herself and those around her. Some say she is cold and unfriendly. Then her boss gives her the job opportunity of lifetime – she is the lead prosecutor on a vicious murder case. It is an election year and a win could help both Kate and her boss, DA Mike Shelley. Kate jumps at the chance to try a capital case and picks her team to get the ball rolling.
Frank Matrone is a former police officer and veteran. He was in the service over in Jerusalem when a horrific bomb nearly killed him; his fiancé wasn’t so lucky; she was killed. Frank’s resulting leg injuries have given him a prescription drug addiction, and his new job as an investigator for the DA’s office is his last chance. When he shows up late for Kate’s team meeting, she is ready to kick him out. Frank has friends in high places, however, and he won’t be dismissed so easily.
What seems like an open and shut murder of two women at a convenience store turns out to be something quite different. Frank has a nose for situations that don’t make sense, and Kate is reluctantly drawn into his theories about the crime. Meanwhile, she has some ugly secrets of her own and she fears exposure as she becomes the target of a stalker. Is it because of her past, or related to the not-so-simple murder case?
The plot is interesting as it unfolds, but as I mentioned, there are some implausibilities that arose for me the more I thought about the set up of the crime. The characters were more problematic. The police officers refer to Kate as Megabitch, and frankly, I agree with them. She seemed very contained in her own world and unwilling to notice how her behavior or attitude might affect others around her. Basically, it’s her way or the highway. Admittedly her past circumstances affect her personality, but she still seemed unlikable as a heroine for me.
Frank is a tortured hero for sure. However, the handling of his obviously very serious drug addiction seemed much too easy, and he carried a ton of emotional baggage from his ordeal in Jerusalem. Conveniently that’s all wiped away when he realizes he loves Kate. It was just too unbelievable for me.
If you are looking for a quick read to keep your interest, this may work for you, but the characters just turned me off. I was glad I didn’t pay for this book, and I would recommend spending your hard earned money elsewhere and grab this from the library instead.