Friday, September 30, 2011

Claim of Innocence

Written by Laura Caldwell
© 2011 by Story Avenue, LLC
438 pp.

From the book cover: “ Forbidden relationships are the most tempting. And the most dangerous.

It was a crime of passion – or so the police say. Valerie Solara has been charged with poisoning her best friend. The prosecution claims she’s always been secretly attracted to Amanda’s husband . . . and with Amanda gone, she planned to make her move.

Attorney Izzy McNeil left the legal world a year ago, but a friend’s request pulls her into the murder trial. Izzy knows how passion can turn your life upside-down. She thought she had it once with her ex-fiancée, Sam. Now she wonders if that’s all she has in common with her criminally gorgeous younger boyfriend, Theo.

It’s Izzy’s job to present the facts that will exonerate her client – whether or not she’s innocent. But when she suspects Valerie is hiding something, she begins investigation – and uncovers a web of secret passions and dark motives, where seemingly innocent relationships can prove poisonous….”

Lawyer Izzy McNeil goes from civil court to criminal court when her friend Maggie needs help. Valerie Solara has been accused of poisoning her best friend while teaching her how to cook a Mexican dish. The grieving husband says he saw her put something blue in the mix. Another friend says she asked her about poisons. . . why? Valerie’s own father was convicted of murder and executed years ago. Is she following in his footsteps?

The characters in this story are normal, everyday people with normal problems. Izzy is 30 with an ex who, although engaged, thinks he may want to get back with her. She also has a 22-year-old hunk of a new boyfriend.  Maggie is a partner in her grandfather’s law firm and he’s starting to show his age. Valerie is a widow with a 19-year-old daughter she’ll do anything to protect. How these women all come together to try and save Valerie from a murder conviction makes an interesting story. The story takes an interesting twist at the end after the verdict is in. Is she guilty or innocent? Read the book and see. Easy to read, short chapters, and good dialogue.

I won this book from one of Book Trib’s weekly contests.

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