Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Loyalty

Loyalty

4.4 19
by Ingrid Thoft
     
 

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When your family’s on the wrong side of the law…what side are you on?

The Ludlows are a family of fast-talking Boston lawyers, and patriarch Carl Ludlow treats his offspring like employees—which they are. Black-sheep daughter, Fina, dropped out of law school, but her father keeps her in the fold as the firm’s private investigator,

Overview

When your family’s on the wrong side of the law…what side are you on?

The Ludlows are a family of fast-talking Boston lawyers, and patriarch Carl Ludlow treats his offspring like employees—which they are. Black-sheep daughter, Fina, dropped out of law school, but her father keeps her in the fold as the firm’s private investigator, working alongside her brothers.

Juggling family, business, cops and crooks is no problem for Fina. But when her sister-in-law disappears, she’s caught up in a case unlike any she’s encountered before.

Carl wants things resolved without police, but the deeper Fina digs, the more impossible that seems. As she unearths more dirt, the demands of family loyalty intensify. But she is after the truth—no matter where it lies…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What starts, in Thoft’s dazzling first novel, as a missing-persons case for Boston PI Fina Ludlow—the search for her sister-in-law, Melanie—swells through layers of familial secrets, lies, and betrayals to something approaching Greek tragedy. The Ludlows’ dysfunctionality is no secret to Fina, the lone surviving daughter and nonlawyer in this clan of high-powered ambulance-chasers, for whom she works as an in-house investigator. When Fina digs into Melanie’s troubled marriage to her brother Rand, she begins to discover disturbing—and dangerous—links to the city’s criminal underbelly, from mobster Mark Lamont to Back Bay madam Bev Duprey. Fina’s two hunky friends with benefits, Det. Cristian Menendez and exotic masseur Milloy, join her on an adrenaline-pumping chase. Although Thoft tips her big bombshell too soon, readers will be eager to see more of smash-mouth Fina, a hard-boiled throwback equally comfortable shooting from the hip or the lip. Agent: Helen Brann, the Helen Brann Agency. (June)
A-! - Entertainment Weekly
Kinsey Millhone, you've got competition. The pistol-packing, trash-mouthed PI Fina Ludlow, daughter of a famous Boston personal-injury lawyer, is equally at home on construction sites and in four-star restaurants as she traces a missing sister-in-law...the sizzling Fina kicks it up a couple of notches, in Loyalty. A-
Library Journal
Fina Ludlow is a law school dropout who now works as an investigator for her Boston family's high-profile personal injury firm. When she's summoned to the office by her father, who rules firm and family with an iron fist, he gives her the news that her sister-in-law, Melanie, is missing. Fina begins to suspect the worst when days go by and Melanie doesn't turn up. Her father and her three brothers want to keep this from the police and the media, which eventually proves impossible. As Fina uses her considerable contacts to dig deeper, she begins to suspect that her family might be more involved with Melanie's disappearance than she initially thought. Events soon turn very dangerous for Fina, and she begins to question how far she'll go to protect her family. VERDICT Thoft's promising debut introduces a significantly flawed but tough new PI and offers up compelling suspense, while the smooth prose keeps things moving right along. Some readers may question some of Fina's decisions and methods, but this mystery wrapped in family drama should please fans of contemporary suspense of the more hard-boiled sort.—Kristin Centorcelli, Denton, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Thoft's debut novel introduces a new female private investigator operating out of Boston who often rebels against her wealthy, overbearing and successful family. Josefina "Fina" Ludlow works as a PI for the family law firm, which specializes in medical malpractice. Her father, Carl, the firm's top lawyer and family patriarch, is both self-consciously stylish and disapproving of his only daughter, especially since Fina flunked out of law school. Her three brother--Rand, Scott and Matthew--are all lawyers who work alongside their dad in the family firm. When Rand's wife, Melanie, doesn't return home one day, Fina and her family are plunged into an investigation and public relations nightmare that ends up involving a normally discreet call-girl service, a gaudy and overbearing female investigator with the Boston police, and Fina's niece, Melanie's and Rand's daughter, Haley, a beautiful but troubled kid whose parents have been too busy fighting with one another to pay attention to her needs. In Fina, Thoft crafts a not particularly original female investigator: She's beautiful, she can fight, she has sex with lots of good-looking men, she wolfs down junk food, often employs poor judgment and bucks the establishment. Although Fina has the occasional astute turn of phrase, many of her techniques read like they are straight out of a private investigator's manual, and most of the action fails to ring true. Thoft's writing is clean and crisp, though, and she weaves the story together without too many stutters, although few readers will fail to figure out key plot twists fairly early in the action. She also commits the mistake of incorporating relentless descriptions of both the clothing and hairstyles of the various characters. As for Fina, while Thoft works hard to make her flawed and interesting, mostly she comes across as rash, sloppy and neither moral nor particularly good at what she does. Thoft's first effort provides a competent storyline that, while it fails to break new ground, promises to improve over time.
From the Publisher
Loyalty’s Fina Ludlow is my hero. If I were in a bad spot, I’d want her at my back. Don’t miss it.”—Catherine Coulter, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“In her debut novel, Ingrid Thoft gives us Fina Ludlow, the newest private eye to prowl Boston’s mean streets. Fina returns the female detective to the heart of the hard-boiled tradition: hard-drinking, hard-loving, moody. Writer Ingrid Thoft has given her a dysfunctional extended family that rivals the Ewings of Dallas fame, which adds a dimension not often seen in the PI novel.”—Sara Paretsky, New York Times bestselling author

Loyalty, Ingrid Thoft’s strong debut, is gripping, and Fina Ludlow, the black sheep of her male-dominated family of ambulance chasers, elevates it to a must-read. A seductive combination of sass and smarts, Fina reminds us just how hard it is for women in a male-dominated world without ever giving an inch. Loyalty reminds me just how great a PI novel can be. This is the start of something big.”—Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author

"What starts, in Thoft’s dazzling first novel, as a missing-persons case for Boston PI Fina Ludlow—the search for her sister-in-law, Melanie—swells through layers of familial secrets, lies, and betrayals to something approaching Greek tragedy....Readers will be eager to see more of smash-mouth Fina, a hard-boiled throwback equally comfortable shooting from the hip or the lip."
— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Thoft’s promising debut introduces a significantly flawed but tough new PI and offers up compelling suspense, while the smooth prose keeps things moving right along….This mystery wrapped in family drama should please fans of contemporary suspense of the more hard-boiled sort.”
                        — Library Journal

“(Fina) Ludlow has the shrewdness of her parents and siblings but she has compassion, too. Fans of the Kinsey Millhone mysteries will enjoy this engaging debut.”
—    Booklist
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399162121
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/18/2013
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Loyalty’s Fina Ludlow is my hero. If I were in a bad spot, I’d want her at my back. Don’t miss it.”—Catherine Coulter, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“In her debut novel, Ingrid Thoft gives us Fina Ludlow, the newest private eye to prowl Boston’s mean streets. Fina returns the female detective to the heart of the hard-boiled tradition: hard-drinking, hard-loving, moody. Writer Ingrid Thoft has given her a dysfunctional extended family that rivals the Ewings of Dallas fame, which adds a dimension not often seen in the PI novel.”—Sara Paretsky, New York Times bestselling author

Loyalty, Ingrid Thoft’s strong debut, is gripping, and Fina Ludlow, the black sheep of her male-dominated family of ambulance chasers, elevates it to a must-read. A seductive combination of sass and smarts, Fina reminds us just how hard it is for women in a male-dominated world without ever giving an inch. Loyalty reminds me just how great a PI novel can be. This is the start of something big.”—Ridley Pearson, New York Times bestselling author

"What starts, in Thoft’s dazzling first novel, as a missing-persons case for Boston PI Fina Ludlow—the search for her sister-in-law, Melanie—swells through layers of familial secrets, lies, and betrayals to something approaching Greek tragedy....Readers will be eager to see more of smash-mouth Fina, a hard-boiled throwback equally comfortable shooting from the hip or the lip."
— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Thoft’s promising debut introduces a significantly flawed but tough new PI and offers up compelling suspense, while the smooth prose keeps things moving right along….This mystery wrapped in family drama should please fans of contemporary suspense of the more hard-boiled sort.”
                        — Library Journal

“(Fina) Ludlow has the shrewdness of her parents and siblings but she has compassion, too. Fans of the Kinsey Millhone mysteries will enjoy this engaging debut.”
—    Booklist
 

Meet the Author

Ingrid Thoft was born in Boston and is a graduate of Wellesley College. Her interest in the PI life and her desire to create a believable PI character led her to the certificate program in private investigation at the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle with her husband. Loyalty is her first novel.

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