Book Title: What You Want To See
Author: Kristen Lepionka
Series: Roxane Weary #2
Genres: Private Investigator, Procedural, Crime Fiction, Mystery
Pub Date: 5/1/18
Marin Strasser has a secret. Her fiancé thinks her secret is that she’s having an affair, and he hires P.I. Roxane Weary to prove it.Then, just days into the case, Marin is shot to death on a side street in an apparent mugging. But soon enough the police begin to focus on Roxane’s client for Marin’s death, so she starts to dig deeper into Marin’s life—discovering that the elegant woman she’s been following has a past and a half, including two previous marriages, an adult son fresh out of prison, and a criminal record of her own. The trail leads to a crew of con artists, an ugly real estate scam that defrauds unsuspecting elderly homeowners out of their property, and the suspicious accident of a wealthy older woman who lives just down the street from where Marin was killed.
With Roxane’s client facing a murder indictment, the scammers hit close to home to force Roxane to drop the case, and it becomes clear that the stakes are as high as the secrets run deep.
Last year I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Roxane Weary, P.I. extraordinaire to the public and problem child to her family. It’s been a hot minute since I was introduced to such a fabulously flawed main character, so Roxy and I bonded immediately and have been mates ever since The Last Place You Look. I’d be lying if I said What You Want To See wasn’t one of my most anticipated sequels of 2018, and I’ll be darned if Lepionka didn’t deliver another solid entry to the series. These books are an interesting take on the procedural, because you are able to feel as if you’re solving the cases alongside of Roxane without the pacing issues that some crime fiction of this sort seem to face.
Book #2 takes place shortly after the events of book #1 wrap up, and I love that the author didn’t abandon the “disposable” characters from case #1. It seems so easy to dump anyone who’s not a lead cast member after each installment has been wrapped, but I feel taking some of these characters (mainly Shelby and her dad) only increased my love of the personal side of Roxy’s daily interactions. If I’m being honest, the plot sequencing and development in each of these cases are superb, but what has truly kept me coming back is the stellar character development the author has attained. Roxane, her family, and her lovers are all as real to me as this donut I’m eating in Shelby’s honor. Also, I love donuts and I eat them at any chance I get.
In case you’re new to the series, you may be unaware that our main character is bisexual. This opens up new doors that many authors in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre have yet to explore, and while I was skeptical in the first book due to the overwhelming onslaught of a past and present lover being introduced all at once, I have to take my hat off to Kristen; she 100% new what she was doing and how this set up would work. In the previous novel, we get a lot more of Tom and more of a mysterious backstory on Cat. In the sequel, Cat is front and center and we see an entirely new side to this part of Roxane’s private life. When I first saw Cat jumping back in I wanted to scream “No girl PROTECT YOUR HEART!” but again, I’ll be darned if Lepionka didn’t completely sway my opinion in 320 pages. I adored the characterization in Cat and where the book left things between the love triangle.
The case pertaining to this individual book was intriguing and complex, and I have to say there was one twist in the end that I did not see coming. My only complaint here, and it isn’t with the author because she has no control over this, but I wish the synopsis was a little more vague and brief. You pretty much know everything that happens in the entire book because of it, and I think there would have been a bit more suspense and build up if some of those details were left out and up to the reader to find out along the way. Overall, a highly enjoyable read and even better than the first one!
*I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.