Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Night in Question

The Night in Question by Nic Joseph
Sourcebooks: 10/2/18
eBook review copy; 320 pages
ISBN-13: 9781492668008

The Night in Question by Nic Joseph is a recommended thriller set in Chicago.

Paula is working a second job as a Drive Away Car ride-share driver to make some extra money to pay her husband Keith's medical bills. On her last fare of the night she picks up a man who called himself  "Lotti" and drops him off at a gold coast apartment building where, obviously, a woman is looking out the window, waiting for him. The next day she realizes that her fare was actually Grammy Award–winning pop singer Ryan Hooks and the woman he was meeting was not his equally famous wife. Paula considers what to do with this information, as any honest woman would, but when she finds his phone in her car, she knows exactly what she'll do. She will offer to give him back his phone for a $180,000 "reward." The $180,000 will pay for an operation that would allow Keith, who is wheelchair-bound after his accident, to walk again.

When a woman is found murdered in the apartment building later, and when someone breaks into her apartment, Paula is sure Ryan is responsible. She reports her suspicions to Detective Claire Puhl, who is investigating the murder, and Paula is called in for an interview. The novel alternates between Puhl's murder investigation and Paula's story.

The tone in this thriller is light and sometimes humorous. Paula is very concerned that the reader knows that she is a good person, that she would never lie about important things, and that she really needs the money to help Keith. When she inserts herself into meeting the residents of the Gold Coast apartment building where she dropped off Hooks, her intentions seem dubious at best. All the narrators, with the exception of Puhl, are unreliable and operating on several different agendas.

The Night in Question is a nice mystery and has some twists and surprises along the way without a huge build-up of suspense. The ending is surprising and worth getting through some of Paula's endless rationalizing about how she really is a good person, even though she is doing all these questionable and illegal actions.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Sourcebooks.

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