Las Playas Police Officer Carly Edwards seems to have problems with partners. One partner kills someone and the incident gets her bumped down to juvenile duty. Her police-officer husband, Nick, has cheated on her, and their divorce has recently gone through—but she trusts him anyway, somehow. Nick’s police partner has disappeared, appearing only to her, but he keeps telling her cryptically not to trust Nick. Her roommate is a good friend, but not a particular encouragement to her. The one person she has to turn to when she gets in trouble is someone she’s sworn to hate.

Or maybe it’s just that Las Playas is filled with corrupt officials and police officers.

I won’t put any spoilers in.

I’ll just suggest that you read Accused by Janice Cantore.

Cantore’s writing is realistic and taut, illustrating her time as a cop. You can feel Carly’s desire to not sit on the bench—only a threat to her mother gets her to take a short-lived sit on that bench. You can feel her desire to get at truth, regardless of whose “side” the truth is on. I tend to think some of the cop jargon Cantore uses could confuse a reader, but she needs it for that realism, and it certainly didn’t take me out of the story at all.

My favorite part of the book is that Carly has a superpower: swimming. It makes her interesting, and it prevents her from being a bitter woman stuck down in a desk job, or a muscle-bound weightlifter, or a typical runner. And she doesn’t just swim laps in a pool. No, not Carly. She works out in the ocean. Cool. Just cool.

Blessings, Voni

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