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Hidden Vices

By C. J. Carpenter

ISBN # 9780738741987

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen


Desperate to escape Manhattan after her last case resulted in her mother’s death, NYPD Detective Megan McGinn takes an open-ended leave of absence from the job she once loved. Arriving at a rented home in a quiet lakeside town, Megan stays away from the investigation into a local judge’s death . . . until his estranged daughter is arrested for murder.

The hostile behavior of the police detectives prompts Megan to look deeper into the details of the case. She finds that the wealthy judge had as many skeletons in his closet as he had assets, and his monetary influence ran deep into the community’s pockets. Whatever the picturesque town is hiding, there are residents who will resort to anything to keep Megan from exposing its secrets.


Megan McGinn is a detective with the New York Police department. After her losing both of her parents she decides she needs to get away for a while and takes a leave of absence. She needs time to come to grips with what happened, time to grieve and time to decide if she still wants to be a detective. She rents a house in New Jersey and plans on spending the winter there to see if she can heal.

While she is there a body is discovered by someone who is ice fishing. After finding out that it is the body of a judge that had gone missing, she just wants to let the local authorities handle the case. After all, she is there to relax and regroup and she does not know the judge, so it is not like it is personal for her. But when the local authorities begin acting strangely and the judge’s daughter is accused of the crime, Megan cannot help but get involved in the investigation. So much for her leave of absence. Little does Megan know that before everything is solved, she will be in the fight of her life.

I really thought that I was going to love this book. After reading the synopsis I thought all the ingredients were there for a first class suspense mystery. But that did not seem to be the case, in my opinion. I thought that Megan was an alright character but I did not really care what happened to her. I found her behavior rather aggravating and instead of feeling sympathy for her she irritated me at times. I think that if I would have been told all the events that led up to her parent’s death and why she felt the need to escape, I would have liked her a lot more. Instead there were just little snippets about the events throughout the story and I think that prevented me from caring a lot about her. I did like the fact that she took in a stray dog, that made her seem more real to me.

I thought the writing style came across choppy and did not flow as smoothly as I would have hoped for. I felt that some of the sentence structures were awkward and I found myself having to reread some sentences to get the full meaning. I did like the plot and story line and I felt like the mystery was carried on fairly well throughout the entire book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well plotted mystery. This is the first book I have read by this author and I plan to see if she has written anymore and give them a try. I liked the book but not as much as I thought I would. Again, I liked the plot and the story line and thought the book was good but I felt like some aspects good have been better.