Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The 3rd Woman by Jonathan Freedland

The 3rd Woman
By Jonathan Freedland
Published by Harper Collins (2 July 2015)
ISBN: 978-0007413683

Publisher's description
SHE CAN'T SAVE HER SISTER Journalist Madison Webb is obsessed with exposing lies and corruption. But she never thought she would be investigating her own sister's murder.

SHE CAN'T TRUST THE POLICE Madison refuses to accept the official line that Abigail's death was an isolated crime. She uncovers evidence that suggests that Abi was the third victim in a series of killings that's been hushed up as part of a major conspiracy.

SHE CAN EXPOSE THE TRUTH In a United Staes that has yielded to the People's Republic of China, corruption is rife - the government dictates what the 'truth' is. With her life on the line, Madison must give up the story, or face the consequences…

My verdict
The 3rd Woman is the first novel that Jonathan Freedland has written under his own name - his previous five novels were written under the pseudonym Sam Bourne. I really enjoyed all of the Sam Bourne books, so I wasn't surprised to discover that The 3rd Woman is another brilliant fast-paced intelligent thriller.

I was hooked from the prologue, which describes the last few living moments of a young woman in Los Angeles. This woman turns out to be Abigail Webb, the younger sister of journalist Madison 'Maddy' Webb. The police maintain that Abigail died of an accidental heroin dose, but Maddy insists that her sister's death was completely out of character. Her investigations reveal that her sister could be the 3rd victim of a serial killer, as another two women have died in very similar circumstances.

The 3rd Woman is filled with suspense and intrigue, with short snappy chapters that keep the book moving at a fast pace. I thought that the underlying political background was fascinating. Imagine that the USA is no longer a top world power, now dependent on Chinese finances; corruption is rife, the Chinese control the ports and smog fills the air.

I was intrigued right until the last page. As Maddy continues her investigations, she realises that she is being watched, leading to a deadly cat and mouse game. She is feisty and determined, but her vulnerable side emerges when it becomes clear that those closest to her may be in danger too. As the police struggle to find answers, Maddy wonders whether a major conspiracy could be at work.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through Lovereading in exchange for an honest review.

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