Before I begin this review, I want to apologize for any errors. This is an excellent book, but I've been very sick since late last night and I may not do it justice.
This is R. Franklin James' debut novel, a fact which I find hard to believe. She has created a character I love in Hollis Morgan, and a great plot. Morgan has spent time in prison for her ex-husband's white collar crimes. While she was in law school and not paying enough attention, he got her to sign some documents. She sort of knew it was wrong to sign but just did it to get him out of her hair so she could go on studying. Later in court, when she was convicted of fraud, he just shrugged his shoulders and walked out, leaving her to serve several years in prison. Now she is out and has finished her parole. She has worked as a paralegal for five years at a respected law firm. If she can get certain people to sign a recommendation, she can possibly be judged rehabilitated, the first step in getting back into law school.
Meanwhile, her parole officer had recommended that she and about six other people with white collar crime records form a book club. They called it The Fallen Angels Book Club. Since they were all a bit isolated due to their past, this was a social occasion they looked forward to. That is until the night one of them was murdered after their meeting. That was the same day Morgan had a phone message from her ex-husband. Of all the people she never wanted to hear from, he was right at the top of the list.
There follows a plot with interesting characters that I found it hard to believe was a first novel. Happily it appears to be the first in a series of Hollis Morgan mysteries. I'm going to follow the series and R. Franklin James. I've found a winner.
Source: Publisher through Partners in Crime book tours