Review: A Good Killing (Anna Curtis #4) by Allison Leotta

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis, #4)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Former federal prosecutor and critically acclaimed author Allison Leotta’s spellbinding thriller follows prosecutor Anna Curtis as she heads home to Michigan to defend her sister in a case that will bring her to her knees.

Newly single after calling off her wedding, sex-crimes prosecutor Anna Curtis is summoned home to Michigan when her old high school coach—a hometown hero—is killed in a fiery car crash. But Anna isn’t there to prosecute a crime, she’s home to support her innocent sister, Jody, who has been wrongfully accused of the coach’s murder.

But maybe Jody isn’t so innocent after all? The police are convinced that Jody was having an affair with the married coach and killed him out of jealousy. As Anna investigates with the help of her childhood friend Cooper Bolden—an Afghan War veteran with a secret of his own—she slowly peels back the facade of her all-American hometown and discovers that no one is telling the truth about the coach, not even the people she thought she knew best.

When the town rallies against them, threatening not just Jody’s liberty but both sisters’ lives, Anna resolves to do everything she can to save her sister and defend the only family she has left.

In her best book yet, Leotta, “a highly entertaining storyteller” (George Pelecanos), explores the limits of vigilante justice, the bonds of sisterhood, and the value of the truth.

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

A Good Killing will be available May 12, 2015.

Where has this series been all my life!? When I requested this book from NetGalley, I was not aware that it was #4 in a series. That always kind of bums me out when I realize it after the fact because I hate jumping into an established series without reading the preceding books. However, this felt like it could have been a first in a series. While there were mentions of events from previous books, the prior characters were minor ones in this installment and I didn’t feel lost at all. That said, I’m still definitely going back to read the first three books in this series.

Anna is a DC prosecutor who goes to her small hometown in Michigan when she gets a call that her sister, Jody, may be in trouble. She’s happy to go since she has just called off her engagement. When she returns home she finds that the well-loved high school football coach has died in what appears to be a car crash. However, the police believe the crash was staged and that it was done by Jody, who was the last person he was seen with. Anna decides to stay in Michigan and defend her sister, with the help of her old friend Cooper. While Anna whole-heartedly believes her sister is innocent, Jody’s evasiveness to all of Anna’s questions, as well as the mounting evidence against her, begins to make Anna doubt.

I really enjoyed A Good Killing. The story was told in 3rd Person POV with alternating chapters giving Jody’s 1st person account to Anna of the past events leading up to Owen’s murder. I’m a sucker for alternate timelines and multiple POVs so I really loved the writing. I thought the characters were well developed and mostly very likable. I was very invested in the possible relationship between Anna and Cooper and enjoyed seeing their friendship develop throughout the book. The synopsis suggests that Cooper has a secret and I really don’t have any idea what it’s referring to. He was so completely wonderful that there were times that I thought he might be too wonderful and became suspicious of him. I would suggest ignoring that little phrase referring to him having a secret before reading.

Overall, A Good Killing was a very well-written, well paced, and well done mystery. The plot had a lot of layers and I enjoyed seeing them getting fleshed out, even as some of it horrified me. The characters were well-developed and likable and I look forward to finding out what happens to them next. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of mystery/crime books and I’m going to begin the series from the start.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

4 stars

UPDATE – 6/25/15

So I have now read the first three books in the series and re-read this book. I enjoyed this just as much the second time around and it did add some emotional depth to the story knowing Anna’s background with both her sister and Jack. I can also appreciate how this book is a bit of a departure for Leotta. The previous books were all in 3rd person POV from multiple perspectives and set in DC with Anna as prosecutor. In A Good Killing, we change settings, Anna is working for the defense, and the POV is switched between only 2 people, one of those told in 1st person. While I liked the first three books, I like how this one shakes things up, as well. While I can’t see Anna staying in Michigan, I am still 100% Team Cooper! I was kind of at a loss why Anna would still be hung up on Jack when I read this the first time – he’s in love with another woman – sleeping with that other woman – but still telling Anna how much he misses her etc. Understanding their history lets me understand a little bit about how she still loves him, but I am even more disgusted by Jack now. He definitely doesn’t deserve Anna and Cooper is fricking wonderful! Overall, this is probably my favorite new series I’ve read this year and I’m really looking forward to more of it.

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