LENGTH: 307 pages
PUBLISHER: Red Adept Publishing
COVER DESIGNER: Streetlight Graphics
Late one night, Maggie kills a man. She lets him into her house because he threatens to expose their flirtation to her sleeping husband. When she rebuffs his sexual advances, he tries to strangle her, then to rape her. She cracks his skull with a crystal vase. Maggie’s husband, Chris, possessing a bad history with the police, insists they cover up the killing.
Then the fun begins. The police come around the next day, after learning that the dead man had told multiple people at a bar the previous night that he was headed to Maggie’s house. They arrest Chris for murder. Maggie brings in her flashy defense-attorney brother-in-law, Jake—who was her first love. Trust between Maggie, who is at home, and Chris, who is imprisoned, shatters to pieces, with devastating consequences.
Binds that Tie is a book you can read in one day. Not because you are a particularly fast reader, but because there isn’t a point in the book where you want to stop reading. Do you stop before the close of the preliminary hearing? Or do you stop before you figure out why Jake and Chris hate each other so much? Or what happened between Chris and his secretary? How do you put this book down and make ravioli dinner for your kids? If someone can answer that question, feel free to let me know.
My one critique of the book is the ending: it ends with what many will consider a cliffhanger—but the cliffhanger does not seem to be one that invites a sequel. Rather, the ending felt like meta-vengeance upon one character for making too smooth of a getaway. But instead of leaving only the character unsettled, it left the reader unsettled as well.
Despite the minor dissatisfaction that the very end might give some readers, the rest of the book is deeply satisfying. It is fast-paced, with adequate backstory to provide enough motivation to explain the actions of the vast cast of characters. And as a lawyer reading the book, I couldn’t find much to quibble with in the depiction of trial procedures—which is saying something, since quibbling is a lawyer-reader’s favorite pastime.
Readers who love procedurals and thrillers will love this book, especially if a strong female lead appeals to you. Maggie takes nothing lying down, and love her or hate her, you can’t help but admire that quality about her.
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Katie Rose Guest Pryal is an author and freelance writer who covers health, higher education, motherhood, and careers, though not necessarily together. She’s active on Twitter (@krgpryal) and her blog (katieroseguestpryal.com).