Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bad Bird: A Mystery

Author: Chris Knopf
Publisher: Minotaur Books

Jackie Swaitkowski investigates the death of a female pilot who had a family tree filled with ex-cons and a passenger list packed with Hamptons high society. Just before Eugenie Conklin's plane took a nosedive, she tossed out a camera case that held an unusual set of photos. While defending Eugenie's husband during the accident investigation, Jackie realizes that she recognizes more than a few of the faces in those pictures. They may be able to prove her client's innocence but Jackie soon learns that to find the answer to Eugenie's death will mean uncovering a mystery from her own family's past as well.

Bad Bird is the second in a new series by Chris Knopf, the first of which is Short Squeeze. Jackie Swaitkowski is a spin off character from Mr. Knopf’s Sam Acquillo series. I haven’t read any books in that other series, but I didn’t get the sense that I was missing anything. If you haven’t read Short Squeeze, you might want to pick it up first. The book does lay out background about Jackie that the author doesn’t really go back over in the Bad Bird. Although, it isn’t crucial. I am just a stickler for reading a series in order.

I enjoyed Bad Bird. I loved Jackie’s character. She is an intelligent, messy, pot smoking attorney who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. She is independent, yet knows when to rely on her friends for help. The secondary characters are equally as interesting, especially her boyfriend, Harry. I think we would all want someone like Harry in our life. While she has relationship issues, he is happy to take her anyway he can get her. The relationship in this is pretty subtle and secondary to the plot. The mystery was interesting with a real twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. I like to be surprised when I read mysteries and this one didn’t disappoint.

I would recommend this book and series. I look forward to Jackie's further adventures. I listened to the audio version and the narrator did a great job on the characters voices.


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