August 14, 2010
Review of "Damaged" by Pamela Callow
When the grandmother of a lonely private school student seeks her counsel, Kate thinks it's just another custody case. But then the teen is brutally murdered. And it isn't only Kate who wonders if her legal advice led to the girl's death.
Put on notice by Randall Barrett, the firm's charismatic managing partner, Kate must fight for her career, for her reputation—and for redemption.
Unwilling to live with the damage she may have caused, Kate pursues the case on her own and unearths some chilling facts.
Facts that lead straight to the heart of a legal conspiracy.
Facts that lead Kate directly into the surgically skilled hands of the Body Butcher.
(From Barnes & Noble)
Damaged, author Pamela Callow's freshman effort at legal mystery/suspense/conspiracy thriller, started slowly but if you are patient, you will be rewarded by what became a page-turning, perfect summer read. It builds slowly, while painstakingly laying the groundwork on central character Kate Lange, her former fiance, Detective Ethan Drake, Kate's employer, and its partner, Randall Barrett, plus a bevy of supporting characters.
I found the murder mystery and conspiracy aspects of the story to be especially fascinating, having not guessed far ahead of time the connections and the "solution" before Kate (one of the bigger disappointments for me with mysteries/thrillers). I also appreciated the resolution, as it didn't stretch reality to unnatural boundaries and it seemed the natural course by the end of the book.
I liked the character of Kate by the conclusion of Damaged although I was a bit neutral about her throughout much of the early story. I always like a tough, determined character with some humanity and all three traits were in evidence as I flipped that last page. I was particularly pleased to note that Ms. Callow will have a new mystery featuring Kate releasing next year and I hope that we will learn more about Kate on this next venture.
By the same token, I hope that we will receive additional insight into the characters of Ethan Drake and Randall Barrett, who both seemed to be yearning for additional literary time. I felt that both characters still have a wealth of information to share and excellent storyline potential.
I also hope that we will see Kate's neighbors again, the elderly sisters Muriel and Enid, who I found engaging and pleasing. Is it possible that these two have secrets themselves or is it just the conspiracy buff in me at work?
Damaged, considering its subject matter, isn't heavy on the gore or violence, although it may have a few objectionable words. There is no sexual matter, although a brief innuendo, and some mentioned drug use.
In all, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Damaged to fans of the mystery, thriller and/or legal genre, all of whom are sure to be satisfied by this debut work that packs a powerful little punch.
Damaged is available for purchase at major booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
For more information about author Pamela Callow, please visit her website HERE.
Damaged counts toward my progress in the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge.
Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.