SPOILERS BELOW ON BOOK.
So I thought about trying to edit this to take out spoilers, but screw it, I am busy today and don’t have the time or energy. It didn’t help that I ended up straight disliking this book and loathing Tess’s boyfriend Crow. There was an interesting plot in there that the white savior crap got in the way of while I was reading. I think showcasing Crow’s POV actually made things worse. He’s a terrible ass boyfriend who resents Tess and I don’t see how that makes a great relationship. At least Tess’s aunt pulled no punches about him always being the one that runs away when he doesn’t get his way.
In the ninth Tess Monaghan book we have Tess going through a slow period at her PI job. She and Crow are back together after he returns from sulking that she said no to his proposal (I said what I said!). Tess is doing some consulting with a newspaper. Along with this the book sets up that a few months ago a federal prosecutor was murdered a few months ago. Tess and others speculate about what happened to him, but most people assume that it was a bad pick up gone wrong and he ended up dead. When Crow brings a homeless teen back to their home (don’t get me started yet) Tess clues into the fact that the boy appears to know something about the death of the prosecutor. Tess ends up being herself and her family in danger when she goes forward with having the boy talk to the press. She quickly has the FBI, DEA, and others out to get her. And Crow is in the wind with the boy.
In order to completely understand my ire I am going to talk about Crow first. I don’t think except for the one book did we ever get Crow’s POV? I can’t remember. But I really disliked him in this one. He keeps a huge secret from Tess as she struggles to pay bills. And then he has his white savior moment after his tire gets punctured by a kid hoping to use that to get paid to change his tire. It makes zero sense why Crow gets fixated on the kid. And it makes zero sense why the kid (Lloyd) even goes along with this mess. A white man offering to drive a black teen to get food and demanding to meet his parents? The hell? Crow driving them to get food and then telling him that he was staying at his home later that night made me shake my head. Who does this? And considering that Crow apparently was doing soup kitchen drop offs why get focused on Lloyd who did damage his tire and was looking for money? And after Lloyd returns with him, steals shit, causes their car to get damaged, he’s still being protective. WHATEVER.
Tess was herself throughout this book which is the only reason why I am giving this 2 stars. Consistency matters when writing a series. That said, I really wish she had gone off on Crow. He brings back a homeless teen with him who it appears lies, punctured his tire, etc and thinks cooking Tess her favorite foods will soften her up. I would have put my whole foot up his ass. Tess realizing that Crow kept secrets from her and that her trying to protect Lloyd and Crow could come back at her family made me frustrated. I really wish she had went off on Crow or we had read that dialogue. Crow and his BS now Tess knows how he feels when she’s in danger made me boo the hell out of him and most of this book.
We get Whitney, Tess’s aunt, and her talking to her mother and father. Other than that the the writing shifts from Tess, Crow, Lloyd, and some other men involved with the death of the prosecutor. I honestly think it was too much. It would have worked better if we had just Tess’s POV and her slowly realizing what Crow was up to and that he had kept things from her. There were no surprises in this one because Lippman cues everything up.
The flow wasn’t great because we kept bouncing around after reveals are made about who the bad guy(s) are so I felt bored until we got to the end
The ending. Woo boy. So there is reward money for solving the prosecutors death. Tess, Crow, and Lloyd get that money. Oh wait, not Lloyd, somehow Crow is going to hold his money for him and demands that he gets a job, gets back to school, etc. CROW MIND YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! I literally cringed at that damn ending. I would have checked his ass so bad. Lippman usually writes African American characters and the divide in Baltimore between white and black people so well. This whole book was so tone deaf. I just needed Whitney or Tess to tell Crow about his self and then I would have liked it more.