A Real Shot in the Arm, by Annette Roome

A Plot Summary:

When Chris Martin — housewife and mother-of-two — seizes the chance to re-gain her independence by putting her endless housework to one side and fulfilling her adolescent dream of becoming a journalist, it is much to the dismay of her disapproving husband, Keith. 

Shortly after taking up a Junior Reporter role at the local newspaper the Tipping Herald, Chris is given an assignment to cover a conference at a local hotel. But when the hotel becomes a crime scene, Chris begins to uncover a very different story to what she had had in mind. 

The corpse that was discovered hanging from a fire escape doesn't look to her like a suicide - heroin addicts don't OD and then string themselves up. But who would have been driven to murder within this tight-knit community? 

The further Chris gets into the investigation, the more questions arise and the more personal sacrifices she is willing to make. But she starts to wonder whether it is the love of the job, or love of a colleague, that is keeping her away from her husband. Will she be strong enough to face the truth when it reveals itself? 

My Thoughts:

I tore through this book; it's a brilliant introduction to the Chris Martin crime series (amateur detective but expert plot). The lead is likeable and believable, two things of core importance in any crime novel, and the crime itself has the right level of gore and horror intermingled with real suspense. Perhaps I'm not the best at seeing twists coming, but I was guessing right up to the end with this one and I didn't have it figured out! I highly recommend it to anyone who's fond of a non-police detective story. Chris Martin is no Sherlock Holmes, but then that can be quite refreshing!

Let me know what you think when you've had a read of it.

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