Jane Perry is a tough homicide cop in Denver, and as Laurel Dewey's latest novel about her opens, she's been called to the scene of a bizarre murder: a well-to-do, middle-aged woman has been hogtied and suffocated by having her mouth and nose sealed up with duct tape. The investigation uncovers the fact that the victim's mouth is stuffed full of shredded promissory notes (hence the title).
It doesn't take long for Jane to realize that there is no shortage of suspects in this case. The dead woman was a swindler, running a ponzi scheme on a number of people who couldn't afford to lose their investments. The trick is going to be untangling the mess and figuring out which one killed her.
PROMISSORY PAYBACK is a solid, well-plotted police procedural, the third in a series featuring Jane Perry (I haven't read the first two). Dewey keeps the pace moving along briskly, which I always like. The real appeal in this book for me, though, is Jane herself, who manages to be both tough and politically incorrect while still having a certain air of vulnerability about her. She's a very appealing protagonist, and I think I'm going to have to go back and read the first two books about her. In the meantime, this novel is available in paperback from The Story Plant, and I recommend it for fans of hardboiled cop yarns.