New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Marisa Cooper prosecutes murderers for a living, but the tables are turned when her ex-husband Peter Assimov is found dead in her garage. She didn't kill him... or did she? All of the evidence points to her. And to top it off, the lead detective on the case is the man she left at the altar before she married Peter.
NOPD Homicide Detective Slade Montgomery is stoic when another cop finds in her home the gun that killed Marisa's ex. She broke Slade's heart when she didn't show up for their wedding, but he never would have pegged her as a killer. The evidence against her is overwhelming, and he has no choice but to arrest her. Then someone tries to kill her.... and several other members of the Assimov family. Is she really guilty, or is someone framing her for Peter's death?
Marisa and Slade are forced to trust each other as they search for the person responsible for the vendetta. Will they -- and their hearts -- survive the close proximity? Or will they destroy each other once again?
"ADA Cooper?" The younger of the two policemen had white-blond hair and a stern countenance. "We met in court a few weeks ago."
She nodded. "Officer Brennan. I remember."
"You reported a dead body?" The older officer cocked his dark head. She didn't recognize him. The gray marking his temples gleamed in the muted light. Daisy sniffed at his shoes, and he turned his attention to the dog. "Does she bite?"
"Not usually." Marisa pulled the animal back. "The body's in my garage. It-it's my ex-husband, Nikolai. Nikolai Assimov. We've been divorced a while. I don't know what he's doing here. I just--"
"Yes, ma'am. Please stay here." The older officer pulled his pistol and motioned to the younger cop. "You take the back."
"Got it." The blond officer gripped his own gun and trotted toward the end of the house.
A shudder slid through Marisa as he disappeared around the corner. Who in the world had killed Nikolai, and why here, in her garage? The two of them barely spoke. She listened for sounds from the house, but there were none. Having no answers, she stepped into the grass to let Daisy nose around in the bushes.
A silver Chevy Lumina with a single light on top suddenly pulled up to the curb. Trying to knead the tension from her neck, Marisa watched in dismay as its lone occupant climbed out. She'd know that lean, muscular body anywhere.
She had to tell herself to breathe. He was as dark-haired and handsome as the day she'd left him at the altar in his crisp black tux, back when she'd believed defense work was sacred and policemen were only obstacles in her path trying to make her job difficult. Why, oh why, of all the detectives in New Orleans' Sixth District, had he drawn this case?
Posted by Sally Pink Reviews on 4th Feb 2013
Atkins pens a romantic, nail-biting suspense with "Prime Suspect," Book Two in the New Orleans Detective Series.
Set in the Big Easy during winter time, ADA Marisa Cooper returns to her home after a hard day's work and finds her ex-husband, Nickolai Assimov, dead in her garage. She calls the police right away. Marisa's ex-boyfriend, Slade Montgomery (who she left at the altar) draws the case. Before he can conduct a gunshot reside test (which would help prove her innocence) Marisa's dog, Daisy, discovers a bomb. Slade manages to throw it out of harm's way, but it still goes off.
After the preliminary investigation, Marisa is the prime suspect in her ex-husband's death and Slade is forced to arrest her.
Slade is also investigating a series of murders involving the Assimov siblings. He's convinced whoever killed Nickolai, killed his siblings.
Marisa makes bail and Slade takes a vacation from the police force, hoping to keep her safe. Slade's boss, Cole MacAlister, takes over the case. Safe house after safe house is compromised, and Slade is led to believe there might be two separate killers involved in Marisa's case – one targeting her and one targeting the Assimovs. He's also led to believe that one of the killers might be in law enforcement.
As Slade and Marisa go from safe house to safe house, the sexual tension between them grows until it explodes in a powerful lovemaking session between them. Can Slade keep Marisa safe so they can have a second chance at love?
Atkins's writing is exciting. The plot flows well, slowing down just enough for the reader to get a breath before picking up again. The tension is as taunt as a bowstring, keeping the reader turning the page.
Atkins uses a good economy of words to paint New Orleans. Her descriptions never linger, but give the reader enough to see Marisa and Slade's world.
Both Slade and Marisa are interesting characters. Marisa is trying to turn her life around after her divorce and make up for previous mistakes. She's courageous in the face of danger. Slade is heroic as he protects Marisa, embodying the nobility a hero should have. He's also very human as his feelings for Marisa are rekindled. Should he or shouldn't he get involved with her again after she broke his heart?
The story is sophisticated/intense for romance readers. Atkins love scenes are sensual and tasteful. Overall, Prime Suspect is a story that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat as they turn the page.