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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life Without Parole by Clare O’Donohue - a review

The secret to O’Donohue’s Kate Conway character is that she is the antithesis of O’Donohue. The author writes with an energy and vivaciousness that the protagonist lacks. Conway is alone in life, settling into a disturbing trend of inertia and curt to the point of being rude. Even her appearance is downtrodden and dowdy. That she is getting over the sudden death of her husband who she discovered was cheating on her is a decent excuse.

In the second of the Kate Conway series, we find our heroine disgusted with her recent free-lance television production and yearning for a program with a little more sustenance. When she hooks up with a program that wants her to interview two former death-row inmates, their sentences reduced to life without parole, she heads to the penitentiary immediately with her camera and recording crew in tow.

Simultaneously she receives a call wanting her to take on a second job, taping a series about up-and-coming restaurants that are opening in the area. When she finds out that the woman her husband was cheating on her with is one of the investors, and then discovers the rest of the motley crew that are involved with the project, including a local mobster and his wife, she probably should have listened to that inner voice that initially said no, but hey a girl has to pay the rent, right?

Inevitably problems come up with both film locations that indubitably are linked together by a thread; Kate has to figure out which group is lying more than the other without putting her job, and perhaps her life, on the line.

In typical O’Donohue fashion, we are led through a trail of lies and deceit, red herrings and dead bodies in this modern-era cozy and brilliantly woven tale of corruption, unrequited love and life in general, with or without parole.

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