Credo’s Hope is the first in an entertaining series featuring police detective Alexandra Wolfe. Part police procedural, part mystery with deft touches of comedy, this is a well written novel with an interesting story and likeable characters. Alex, and her partner Casey, are called to a case where a prostitute has been shot, a young girl injured and the suspect is in the wind. It’s going to take hard work and a bit of luck to track him down, but Alex can’t resist her best friends plea to take on a cold case involving a death row inmate. Investigating on her own time, Alex manages put her boss offside and to step on a few toes, including those of the Prada shod mafia boss, Giannina Angelino. Despite being assaulted, shot at, kidnapped and harassed, Alex is determined to follow every lead and see justice done. I enjoyed the multi layered plot spear headed by Alex’s official and unofficial investigation. Holt’s own experience as a police officer is evident in the details, from the investigative process to the physical confrontations. There are also some interesting subplots, such as Casey’s ongoing argument with another detective, Mrs Highland and Alex’s accidental involvement with the local mafia. There is no sense of crowding despite all the action and the pacing is well handled. The dialogue is well written, snappy and realistic and generally the standard of writing is high. There were a few occasions where I thought the writing could be a little tighter, I think it would benefit from an experienced editor just to provide a final gloss of professionalism to the manuscript. Holt displays real strength in developing a cast of realistic, dynamic characters all of which are appealing. Alex is smart and grounded with enough attitude to make hard choices for the right reasons. Her phone calls with her mother give us some idea of where she has come from but it is her interaction with her friends, colleagues and dog, Tessa, that tell us who she is. Alex believes in her job, evidenced by her determination to follow her cases wherever they may lead, despite any threats to herself. It’s a mix of stubborn bravery and dogged resolve that makes Alex an admirable detective and loyalty and sass that makes her an appealing protagonist. As Alex’s best friend, Megan provides a lot of the laughs but also reveals Alex lighter side. She is a wonderful foil to the more serious aspects of the story, and provides a believable impetus for Alex to involve herself in the Brian McClelland case. I also enjoyed many of the supporting characters including Alex’s beleaguered boss, Kate, and nurses Maddy and Carlo. Credo’s Hope is a great read and an impressive start to this self published series. I’m really glad I took a chance on it and recommend it unreservedly to fans of the genre. I’m hoping to read the second installment Credo’s Legacy as soon as I have the opportunity.
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