Author Debbie Burke’s novel, Stalking Midas (Media Management LLC), has all the earmarks of a thriller. Well-crafted, with a plot that ratchets up the suspense, Stalking Midas features strong characters and realistic dialogue. It’s an exciting and fast-paced read.
This is Burke’s second book featuring Tawny Lindholm (the first was Eyes in the Sky). Tawny is a street-smart, attractive, middle-aged, single mom of two, living in northwestern Montana. She’s employed as an assistant to Tillman Rosenbaum, a successful attorney who once got her out of a serious jam.
Tillman, a hard-driving, hard-boiled courtroom lawyer, asks Tawny to investigate the financial affairs of his elderly father, from whom Tillman is estranged.
Tawny discovers that the irascible old man has been spending a lot of time recently with sexy Cassandra. Moe Rosenbaum thinks Cassandra is the cat’s meow, but Tawny discovers that Moe’s new lover has persuaded him to donate large sums of money to Cassandra’s proposed luxury home for the pets of deceased owners.
It isn’t long before Tawny wonders whether this pet retreat is the real deal or a cruel fraud.
As Tawny delves deeper into Moe’s finances, and into Cassandra’s past and present, she begins to stir up dangerous old passions and hidden crimes.
Stalking Midas isn’t for the faint of heart, for Tawny has to navigate her way through the murky waters of murder, torture, misogyny, ageism, ugly childhood events, and human frailty. And her tenacity and intelligence threaten to put her own life—and the lives of people she cares about—in danger. Fortunately, Tawny’s stubborn courage shines through the novel’s darkness.
As she investigates the increasingly tangled and confusing case, Tawny also has to deal with other issues: her rebellious teenage daughter’s messy life, personal financial and emotional issues, and a growing attraction—could it be mutual?—to her boss.
Throughout the novel, Burke uses vivid, descriptive language to bring to life the bleakness of a northwestern Montana winter. She successfully uses the icy, dark season as a continuing metaphor for the coldness and evil of the novel’s villain.
If you enjoy a good thriller, I suggest that you curl up in a comfortable chair. ISI