In her third outing Lydia Strong, private investigator, reveals a centuries old family curse as the husbands of famous artist Julian Ross family are all shown to have been murdered, including both of Ross’ husbands and her father too. Ross is under suspicion in the death of her husbands even though she had been exonerated in the first murder, ten years previously. Strong’s own mother was a victim of a serial killer, Jed McIntyre, who has recently been released and is stalking her as well. Lisa Unger—under the pen-name Miscione—sends us forward as she has us chasing two heavy plot-filled stories in her latest offering, “Twice.”
The dark story line is darkened even more as Strong’s partner/boyfriend, Jeffrey Mark, and her Australian minder, Dax Chicago, are led through the tunnels under New York City by the homeless who reside there as they recognize the danger of having McIntyre hide within their midst. Not only is he a threat to their own peace of mind, but they don’t need New York’s finest, led by Detective Ford McKirdy, searching below the surface. McKirdy, lead investigator in the Ross murders is the tool that Unger uses to bring the two storylines together as the Ross family have requested Strong also investigate the family murders.
Strong investigates these family stories as she struggles with finding out that she is pregnant and about to start her own family. The implausible storylines she finds herself involved in perhaps seem exaggerated by her extra-hormonal thought processes as she realizes that Mark is overbearing and extra-protective while seeing her as handicapped to be pursuing fleeing felons while in a family-way.
Unger writes in a heavy-handed way with great detail, though at times product names are a little distracting from the plot: pink glossy lipstick would be enough. This is a shame, as the story is fine, full of twists and turns, small-town clichés and evil relatives. Highly entertaining gritty writing.