Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Red Flags

Red Flags by Lisa Black
7/26/22; 352 pages
Locard Institute Thriller #1

Red Flags by Lisa Black is a very highly recommended forensic thriller and the first book in a new series.

Dr. Ellie Carr, a D.C. crime scene analyst and part of the FBI’s evidence response team, is called to investigate the case of a 4 month old missing baby, Mason Carlisle. Once she arrives at the scene, a mansion on the banks of the Potomac, she is shocked to discover that the child’s mother, Rebecca, is her own cousin that she hasn't seen in fifteen years. Rebecca, is a policy adviser to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation while her husband Hunter owns a wealthy lobbying firm.

There is no clear trace what happened to Mason and Hunter hires Dr. Rachael Davies, a Washington DC forensic scientist and assistant dean at the prestigious Locard Forensic Institute to assist in the investigation. Now Ellie and Rachel are working together. The case becomes much more involved and complicated and involves blackmailing a lobbying effort on gaming industry regulations.

Red Flags is a great introduction to a new series. The writing is excellent and the tension rises as various scenarios are looked at and suspects are considered. The case is complicated and information and clues are uncovered as well as clever insights. The investigation is interesting to follow and there are several twists to surprise you or point you in a different direction concerning the case. There are fascinating details for crime scene fans to follow.

Both Ellie and Rachel are equally interesting characters and the investigations are compelling and detailed. The narrative moves quickly and developments are rapid in the plot and the investigations. There are plenty of forensic details and discoveries in the cases. The whole case suddenly involves a multilayered investigation and technical details. The two women work well together and this portends well for the new series. I'm looking forward to the next novel in the series.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Kensington via NetGalley.

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