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It's a Crime    by Jacqueline Carey order for
It's a Crime
by Jacqueline Carey
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2010 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Landscape-designer and mystery fan Pat Foy is the consummate corporate wife, enjoying the fruits of her accountant husband Frank's financial manipulations, while turning a blind eye to the details of what he's been doing. It all comes crashing down around her, however, at the beginning of It's a Crime, when Frank and many of his High Risk department subordinates at telecom giant LinkAge are arrested.

Though Frank cooperates with the authorities, he ends up jailed for a year, while Pat rather aimlessly tries to come to terms with the situation. Though their own finances are still more than healthy, she learns that countless people lost their savings when the LinkAge stocks plummeted (in total, the shareholders 'lost a hundred and forty billion dollars', while the company's CEO and CFO got away with tens of millions and no jail time). Pat begins to track down some of them, one being her high school best friend Ginny Howley, who then accompanies her on further quests.

One person who has spoken out in the media about the LinkAge debacle is Pat's ex-lover, noir mystery author Lemuel Samuel. When she seeks him out, she finds him in hospital after an accident and adds his teen son Will to her growing train. Will and Pat's teen daughter Ruby hit it off. While a feckless Pat and Ginny set out to investigate the possibility of recouping stockholders' losses through a quixotic investment in wind farms, Ruby persuades Will to help her seek evidence of the LinkAge CFO's wrongdoing - which gets them both into trouble.

It's a Crime is an interesting read, one that looks hard at those who believe they are - and often are in reality - above the law. Though I kept wondering where it was going, I couldn't tell even at the end. But perhaps Lemuel Samuel sums up the novel's message best when he tells Will: 'I don't know why everyone isn't screaming all the time ... The problem is, no one is even opening their mouth nowadays except to stick in a bottle of water like a big suckling baby.'

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