Foolproof: An Iris Thorne Mystery
"Pugh's uncanny knack for using the perfect word gives the novel a special quality....There's action to spare...[and] an almost erotic lushness to her writing...." raved The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) of Dianne Pugh's third smashing Iris Thorne mystery, Fast Friends. Now she plunges her savvy heroine into a maelstrom of marriage and murder in the Los Angeles high-tech world, proving that in a city where ruthless ambition, community property laws, and earthquakes are facts of life, nothing is really Foolproof. From where she stands in her newly purchased beachfront bungalow -- complete with cozy garage for her beloved red Triumph convertible -- life looks good for Los Angeles investment counselor Iris Thorne. The only clouds an her horizon are caused by her boss from hell and the never-ending office battles at McKinney Alitzer. But one hot night, everything changes. At the Gothic hilltop mansion owned by her dear friends, entrepreneurs Bridget and Kip Cross, Bridget is brutally murdered. The sole witness is Brianna, the couple's five-year-old daughter. The sole suspect is Kip, the volatile creative genius behind Pandora, the Crosses' trailblazing computer games company. Hotheaded Kip had motive to spare: he was violently opposed to his cool, business-minded wife's plan to take Pandora public. Iris must now sort through her conflicting emotions as she faces the mounting evidence against Kip: the gunpowder burns on his hands, infidelity against Bridget, and no alibi. Then there's the unsettling matter of Slade Slayer, the brutal antihero of Kip's revolutionary games -- rumored to be Kip's alter ego. Is there enough of Slade in Kip to have ended Bridget's life? Worse still, is he a threat to Brianna, who has wiped the murder from her young memory? Bridget surprised everyone -- especially Kip -- when she left her majority stake in Pandora not to her husband, but to her daughter. And she named Iris as administrator of Brianna's trust. Suddenly, Iris finds herself responsible for a collapsing computer games company, the financial future of a little girl, and, as Brianna could hold the key to convicting her mother's killer, maybe even the five-year-old's life. Exposing the deadly tensions behind the glamorous facades of Brentwood mansions and laying bare the riddles along a dark stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, Dianne Pugh has marked the L.A. mystery with a style all her own. And with "her bold moral compass, her appealing in-your-face attitude and unsettled romantic life, Iris is a compelling heroine" (Publishers Weekly) who "deserves our undivided attention" (Los Angeles Times Book Review).
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