In Paty Jager’s Double Duplicity, Shandra Higheagle is dealing with preparations for Huckleberry Mountains Resort’s big art festival when she gets a call from Paula, owner of an art gallery, to visit her. Upon dropping by, Shandra finds Paula in a pile of blood, the victim of a particularly violent killing. Before she can call 911, the local police arrive and arrest Shandra, assuming she committed the crime. But once Detective Ryan Greer shows up, he realizes that Shandra couldn’t have committed the crime because she has no blood splatter, he has to look for the true killer. The case seems to be tied to the suspicious overdose death of Joyce Carter, the sister of Shandra’s best friend, Naomi.
Ryan finds himself drawn to Shandra and her Indian heritage that she grew up separated from, though her grandmother once told her that Shandra has inherited her second sight. Now Shandra has been having dreams sent from her grandmother that help to direct her and Ryan toward solving the crime.
I enjoyed listening to this book. I liked exploring the culture of the region and of Shandra’s Indian heritage. The plot had some really interesting points to it with some creative twists. I enjoyed the way the romance between Ryan and Shandra does not limit itself to pure physical attraction but instead spends significant time in getting to know each other and with Ryan’s helping Shandra open up to who she truly is and discover fuller potential in herself.
One detail that I did not like was the description of a Latino character, Juan, as an “illegal,” which is a very derogatory term, as if that is who a person is instead of what the person’s immigration status is. Granted, this description was given by character and does not necessarily represent the author’s opinion, but it is a sympathetic character who uses this term, and I do not think this term was necessary at all for the context. In addition, the characters, including the detective, talk about the INS, an agency abolished in 2003, 12 years before the publication of this novel in 2015.
This book has a strong narrator in Ann M. Thompson, who makes us get lost in the book instead of think about the narrator herself. Thompson does a good job of making the different characters become realistic and the book all the more fun to enjoy.
I really appreciated the listening experience of Double Duplicity. Jager does a good job of writing and turning the book into something enjoyable to listen to. I give the book four stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author, but that in no way influenced my review.
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