Review: Absolute Liability by J.W. Becton

I often buy books thinking they will be really good, but somehow I don’t get around to reading them soon and they add to my pile of To Be Read books. Absolute Liability sounded interesting and I was intrigued by the contrast between Becton’s previous book, Charlotte Collins, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and began it quickly and was immediately drawn into the story.

The story is fast paced and the reader is plunged into the lead character’s life quickly, but naturally. Julia Jackson is someone from a dysfunctional family caused by her sister’s rape in high school, and Julia is determined to find her sister’s attacker, a determination which leads her to the police academy and into a brief job as a policewoman.  A lay-off changed  her course, and she now works as a fraud investigator for an insurance company, a job which still uses some of her police skills, but does not risk her life or require her to carry a gun…or so  she thought.

Becton’s characters are finely drawn and reasonable (there is nothing that irritates me more than a woman who decides to go investigate a biker bar…alone…when a person of reasonable intellect would take someone with them, or, better yet, call the police with her idea or clue.  I detest having to tell stupid characters to “Don’t go in the abandoned house! DON’T GO INTO THE ABANDONED HOUSE!!!!”)  Becton manages a brisk and believable read that is well paced and if her characters are not totally fleshed out it is because this is the first book of a six book series and I am sure we will get to know the characters at a leisurely pace as the series progresses.  The mystery in the story was well crafted and had enough twists and turns to hold my attention for a one sitting reading.

Read this book on the front porch with a tall glass of sweet iced tea and enjoy, then try to curb your impatience for the next one!  Oh…I do not recommend starting this at bedtime- I sat up until 1 am to finish it!

Rating:  ***** (five stars)

It also gets a PG rating for some non-graphic violence, very mild swearing.  I would have no hesitation recommending this to a young adult reader.

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