You Can Go Home Now by Michael Elias.
Nina Karim is a tough Queens detective. Ask her why she became a cop and she'll give you her stock answer - but not the truth. The truth is she wants revenge on the man who killed her father. Until she hunts him down, she works cold cases. A disturbing pattern emerges as she peruses the latest stack of files. Dead men - and all their widows were in the same shelter.
Right off the bat, I liked Nina - her irreverence for authority, her drive for answers and her own brand of justice. I'm a sucker for troubled lead characters. Supporting players were just as well drawn. Nina's boyfriend, a loan shark is more often the voice of reason. But he too is happy to bend rules.
Elias is a screenwriter and that skill added wonderfully to the 'readability' of the book. (It kind of reads like a movie) The emotions, twists, turns and action all leapt off the page. The dialogue, the investigations, the settings all really well done. And there's lots of current social issues woven in to the plot. It moves along at a good pace. There are a few plot pieces that I wondered about, but didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.
But what I liked the most? Nina. She was a fantastic protagonist. And I'd like to hope that the little opening left in the final pages is enough to bring Nina (and Bobby B.) back for a second book. Read an excerpt of You Can Go Home Now.
Gentle readers - there are some triggering scenes and topics in this novel.