‘A Good Killing’ by Allison Leotta: Entertaining crime thriller


Rating: 5 stars

Allison Leotta has written this fourth book in the series that started with “Law of Attraction,” and which series features Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Curtis. Curtis is a well-rounded protagonist. She loves her job, she’s feminine, but she’s also tough enough to go toe-to-toe with the worst criminals. That’s what she does — she puts the bad guys away.

So the premise of this book turns the tables on reader and main character. Anna’s sister, Jody, is accused of killing the high school football coach in their small town of Holly Grove. And as in many small towns, football reigns supreme, and the coach was revered by all particularly because he brought their high school team to state championships often.

Anna knows right away that she wants to defend her sister. She is still reeling from the emotional trauma that occurred in the last book when her fiancé’s first wife (long thought dead) reappeared into his life. The wedding was called off, but Anna’s emotions are still delicate. (One teeny complaint is that Leotta might have given the reader a bit more details about what happened between Anna and Jack so that new readers just picking up the series might not feel lost.)

Leotta creates wonderful tension between Anna and Jody. There are things that Jody refuses to tell Anna, and Anna doesn’t push. Jody didn’t go to college; she stayed in their small suburb and worked in Detroit at a GM plant. But there are things that happened in Jody’s life that Anna missed because she was in college.

Leotta does a great job telling two stories at the same time. In bold print every second or third chapter, Jody tells her story in first person narrative. It’s very well done and the voice of Jody comes through loud and clear. The other chapters are in typical third person narrative and are from Anna’s point of view.

Who killed Owen Fowler? As the story progresses and Leotta slowly spreads the crumbs of truth across the pages, the reader finds that many might have wanted him dead. But did Jody Curtis actually do it? The mystery is well done, and while clever readers might guess at the ending, it’s fun all the way to the last page.

There’s also a bit of romance. Not so much as to make it something that guys wouldn’t want to read but enough to keep Anna’s personal life important and fluid. And while the ending is no cliff hanger, readers will certainly want to know about the next chapter in Anna’s life.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Touchstone Books for review purposes.