Firecracker P.I. Fina Ludlow returns in the next hard-driving entry in the acclaimed series by Ingrid Thoft.
It's been a couple months since Fina's last big case - the one that exposed dark family secrets and called Fina's family loyalty into question - but there's no rest for the weary, especially when your boss is Carl Ludlow.
Renata Sanchez, a single mother by choice, wants to learn the identity of her daughter Rosie's sperm donor. A confidentiality agreement and Rosie's reticence might deter other mothers, but not Renata, nor Carl, who's convinced that lawsuits involving cryobanks and sperm donors will be "the next big thing." Fina uncovers the donor's identity, but the solution to that mystery is just the beginning: Within hours of the case going public, Rosie's donor turns up dead.
Fina didn't sign on for a murder investigation, but she can't walk away from a death she may have set in motion. She digs deeper and discovers that DNA doesn't tell the whole story and sometimes, cracking that code can have deadly consequences.
Identity, the 2nd book in Fina Ludlow series, was mostly enjoyable with humor, mystery and family drama. Parts of this novel reminded me of the 70s TV show Rockford Files (about a quick witted P.I. with a heart of gold and the tendency to get beaten-up a lot).
I loved how Fina jumped to the defense of her niece after she was sexually assaulted by a family member. While Fina appeared to be the only adult relative willing to call the sick predator a pedophile, I wanted Fina to do more (leak embarrassing personal information to the media, shoot his balls off or put out a contract on his life).
Again, my biggest problem with the premise of this series is the ridiculous Ludlow family dynamics. Fina and her lawyer brothers work for their sadistic father's firm, where Carl treats all his employees like dirt. Why would educated adult children work for an arrogant prick who doesn't even respect them? Insanity or masochism....
Of course, Fina's mother is a cold, calculating bitch who mourns the death of her first daughter while insulting and degrading Fina at every opportunity. No rational adult would spend a moment's time with either Ludlow parent unless a gun was pointed at their heads.
Ingrid, I suggest killing off the parents in the next book or have the rest of the family move to another country. Insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.