c.2018, Dafina
$12.95 ($13.95 Canada)
320 pages

You dig, and you dig, and you dig.

Like a dog with a bone, you’re all in when presented with a tiny scrap of intriguing information. You don’t let go until you know everything there is to know about it, searching and uncovering and digging until, as in the new novel “Triple Threat” by Camryn King, you’ve dug yourself into trouble.

There had been absolutely no reason for Leigh to have killed herself.

Award-winning journalist Mallory Knight knew that about her best friend. Just days before her body was found, bruised and nude, Leigh had been happy and laughing with Mallory. There was just no way she was suicidal, and Mallory had tried to keep the police focused.

But it had been a year since the supposed-suicide-maybe-murder and now Leigh’s case was considered closed. In Mallory’s mind, though, nothing had been settled; even less so when Leigh’s mother gave her a duffel bag of mementos with a mystery inside.

Leigh had left a journal with what appeared to be coded words; some were senseless, but others led Mallory to a few shaky conclusions. Leigh was dating New York Navigators basketballer Christian Graham when she died, and his name was in the diary; to Mallory, that made him a suspect. And as it happened, her editor, Charlie, gave her an assignment to write about Christian’s charity organization. It was the perfect opportunity to find out more about the man Leigh seemed drawn to.

To her surprise, Mallory learned that Christian was a truly nice guy, but her investigator’s background nagged her to dig deeper. She knew that he strongly mentored a kid enrolled in his charity, and that he had a soft spot for the boy. Rumor was that the teen had been sick but Mallory also heard there was violence involved. There was something about the boy and Christian’s relationship with him that made her act rashly.

One ill-considered act, and Mallory’s entire life crashed.

And that was just fine. It gave her more time to figure out what happened to Leigh and whether Christian Graham was involved her death. Leigh once called Christian a “triple threat” — smart, handsome and successful. But was he a killer, too?

In the beginning of “Triple Threat” and until about twenty pages in, the temptation to quit the book may be strong. It’s slower than chilled honey, which happens in small pockets throughout this novel.

When it heats up, though, it’s on fire. Author Camryn King tells a fine mystery that’ll keep you engaged and eager to solve, in part because there’s also a bit of romance inside and enough drama to satisfy. There are a couple of heart-pounders, too, and a character that does some really dumb things, which makes her seem more relatable.

While the ending of “Triple Threat” feels like it goes on forever, getting to that point will be fun if you have the patience. This book isn’t always snappy or snazzy but it’s a good enough whodunit and if you like romancy-mysteries, you’ll dig it.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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