The Perfect Suspect (Catherine McLeod Mystery Series #2)

( 9 )


David Mathews, the wildly popular candidate expected to win the Colorado governor’s seat, has been murdered. His death has made headlines across the nation and Denver’s police are scrambling to solve the high-profile case. Mathews’s estranged wife Sydney had motive—her husband’s infidelities—and when the gun used to kill him is discovered in the couple’s mountain home, Sydney is arrested and charged with first-degree homicide.

Catherine McLeod is covering the story for The ...

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The Perfect Suspect (Catherine McLeod Mystery Series #2)

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David Mathews, the wildly popular candidate expected to win the Colorado governor’s seat, has been murdered. His death has made headlines across the nation and Denver’s police are scrambling to solve the high-profile case. Mathews’s estranged wife Sydney had motive—her husband’s infidelities—and when the gun used to kill him is discovered in the couple’s mountain home, Sydney is arrested and charged with first-degree homicide.

Catherine McLeod is covering the story for The Denver Journal and receives a call from an anonymous woman claiming she saw the real killer leave the scene of the crime but is afraid to confide in the police. To uncover the truth, Catherine must risk her career—and her life—to find the witness who can identify Mathews’s murderer: Detective Ryan Beckman.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Perfect Suspect will have readers on edge wondering what’s around the next corner.”—New York Journal of Books

“A tale rife with deception…The tension and pacing of the story keep the pages turning.”—The Denver Post

The Perfect Suspect is Margaret Coel’s finest effort to date.”—Gumshoe Review 

“A fine, fun read and a welcome signal that Catherine is here to stay.”—Daily Camera 

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Coel's so-so second mystery featuring investigative reporter Catherine McLeod of the Denver Journal (after 2008's Blood Memory), rogue police detective Ryan Beckman fatally shoots her secret lover, David Mathews, a leading gubernatorial candidate, when he tells her it's over. An ironic twist puts Beckman in charge of the investigation into Mathews's murder, giving her the opportunity to frame his wife, Sydney. Beckman knows someone saw her leaving Mathews's house. That witness later makes an anonymous call to McLeod, who had covered Mathews's campaign, identifying Beckman as the killer. Then it's a race as McLeod tries to persuade the witness to come forward and tries to find other witnesses linking Beckman and Mathews. Beckman, meanwhile, is also trying to find and eliminate anyone who can connect her to Mathews, including McLeod. An increasingly desperate Beckman and increasingly determined McLeod stay on an easily foreseeable collision course. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Brace yourself for a second breakneck investigative case featuring Denver newspaper reporter Catherine McLeod (Blood Memory). Handsome David Mathews seemed to be a perfect gubernatorial candidate, but his love of women turned out to be his fatal Achilles' heel. We're startled to learn on the very first page that Det. Ryan Beckman killed Mathews in a fit of passion reminiscent of Glenn Close's Fatal Attraction role. And now she is the lead detective on the investigation! Catherine gets an anonymous tip from a witness to the slaying, and as she pursues the killer, her own life is jeopardized. VERDICT "Meeting the deadline" takes on new meaning in this compulsive read. Women as action stars—especially if they have a good dog—make for entertaining reading. This second series from Coel ("Wind River Mysteries") holds great possibilities, what with Catherine's Arapaho background and the myriad news stories still ahead. Consider pairing with Hank Phillippi Ryan or Brad Parks.
Kirkus Reviews

A reporter and a killer duel over the murder of a political candidate.

The hottest story in Denver is the shooting of gubernatorial hopeful David Matthews. Investigative journalist Catherine McLeod (Blood Memory, 2008, etc.) has been covering the campaign for theDenver Journal. Now a mysterious phone call from a woman who names the murderer launches Catherine into a tricky investigation. Even though the charming Matthews had the election in his pocket, Catherine always felt there was something too good to be true about him. Perhaps it was the many rumors of his infidelity despite his marriage to a wealthy, beautiful woman. His wife was at their vacation home the night of his death, but once the murder weapon is found in a desk drawer, she's arrested for the crime. When one of Matthews' campaign staff becomes the next victim, Catherine realizes she could be next on the list. But she refuses to give up even in the face of opposition from her police officer boyfriend.

Although Coel reveals the killer's identity in the first chapter, the dangerous dance between Catherine and her quarry provides all the tension you could ask for.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425251546
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Series: Catherine McLeod Mystery Series, #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 565,465
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 4.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Coel
Margaret Coel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of the Wind River Mysteries and the Catherine McLeod Mysteries, as well as several works of nonfiction. Originally a historian by trade, she is considered an expert on the Arapaho Indians. A native of Colorado, she resides in Boulder.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Rogue Cop

    When she wrote “Blood Memory,” featuring reporter Catherine McLeod, Margaret Coel meant it to be a stand-alone novel. Well, she waited three years before that changed, and now we have what appears to be a series.

    The plot of this entry is pretty straightforward, including politics, unfaithfulness, unrequited love and, of course, Catherine’s doggedness in following the story. From the beginning, the reader knows who murdered the handsome, charming, adulterous gubernatorial candidate, a beautiful blonde police detective he spurned after a torrid affair, following which she attempts to remove witnesses to the murder (while Catherine attempts to find them).

    The Catherine McLeod novels lack the charm and detail of the Wind River Reservation mysteries. They are, of course, being Margaret Coel novels, well-written and tightly constructed. But somehow “Suspect” remains somewhat predictable. Nevertheless it is a good read, and is recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2012

    Good but not up to the standards of the Wind River series

    Book Two in the Catherine McLeod series by Margaret Coel - 3.5 stars. The Candidate for governor of the state of Colorado has been murdered - and the cop assigned to investigate the murder is his mistress - the murderer. (No spoiler there - that is all in the first chapter of the book.) The only mystery here is if Catherine McLeod (investigative reported for the Denver paper) can identify the only witness in time to save her life and solve the case.

    The story is told from the point of view of both Catherine and of the murderer - Detective Ryan Beckman - as each describes her (competing) part in the investigation. Along the way at least two more people are murdered, and Catherine is attacked twice before Detective Beckman can be apprehended.

    Although I liked this book, it is not up to the standards of Ms Coel's Wind River series - and may not be up to the standard of the first Catherine McLeod story. I enjoyed the device of identifying the killer and then telling half the story from her point of view, but alone that was not enough to carry the story. And the inclusion of McLeod's Indian heritage felt contrived as it had no real part in moving the story forward.

    It is possible that people who have not read the Wind River books would like this one more than I did, after all, it is a well told story, but it is not up to Coel's best.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Perfect Mystery!

    Margaret Coel is a new to me author, but definitely not a new to the world author. She is a best selling author, and I have heard lots of FANTASTIC stuff about her work. I am happy to say that I wholly agree with the people who have shouted her praises. I was super pleased with this novel and the characters within. It kept me up late into the night, turning page after page, having to find out the outcome of the suspenseful story.

    This novel is different. It's killer, a detective. Wow. I would never have thought that someone would use the detective in a novel as a killer. Oh, you are probably thinking, she's giving away the plot. Nope. If you read the synopsis, it's a dead giveaway (no pun intended!). It's how the book begins. But, the fun part was all the twists and turns of Catherine McLeod piecing the clues to the puzzle together. It was truly interesting.

    Catherine McLeod is a character I would love to know in real life. She's strong yet independent and lovable. She takes her job seriously and is just an all around great character.

    Detective Ryan Beckman is the perfect suspect (no pun intended, again!) for this story. Broken affair victim, jealousy and revenge take over. She's been on the job long enough to know how to cover her tracks....or has she? Will she out run Catherine McLeod and her investigation? Or will Catherine McLeod overtake the clues and witnesses and come out on top?

    This is one of the best mystery novels I've read in awhile. It's an awesome, fast paced, thriller that will keep you on alert as you witness Beckman and McLeod going head to head in this chase. This is the second McLeod novel and I must go back and read the first one! If it's anything like this one, it's sure to be a rocking good 5 Book novel! I also can't wait to go back and check out Ms. Coel's other books from her Wind River Mysteries.....this lady is TALENTED! I definitely recommend this book, with it's perfect combination of suspenseful mystery, life risking, and touch of romance.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Heroine

    David Matthews is the extremely popular candidate running for the Governor's seat in Colorado. Catherine McLeod has been covering his campaign. There are rumors of a few skeletons in his closet, affairs and some shady business deals but nothing that can be really substantiated. No one is more shocked than Catherine when news spreads that the candidate has been murdered in his home.

    Police are scrambling to solve this high profile case as quickly as possible. His wife has motive with all his affairs and the murder weapon is even found in her house. But Catherine receives an anonymous phone call from someone who tells her they witnessed the killer leaving the scene of the crime and it was not his wife. Catherine puts her career and her life on the line to find the witness who can identify the killer.

    My Thoughts:
    The first reason I loved this book was that while it is being released three years after the last book the book picks up only about a year later. Catherine's romance has progressed but not by much, she is still learning more and more about her heritage and the mystery is top notch.

    We know who the killer is from the beginning and we watch them react to everything happening as Catherine gets closer to the truth. Catherine is a tough heroine but we also get to see her softer side. She great in the moment of drama but is very human as she lets down her walls as she deals situations beyond her control.

    The writer also writes in almost a poetic way when she describes the scenes in the book from things as simple as a sunrise to the places she travels while running down clues.

    I am glad I made the effort to read this author's work. She is an outstanding storyteller. Catherine's ancestors would be very proud at how well she tells a story. I am going to have find a way to work into my reading schedule the Wind River Mysteries. I think I am missing out on some wonderful books.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an entertaining cat and mouse thriller

    Police detective Ryan Beckman and married gubernatorial candidate David Mathews are having a secret tryst. However, knowing exposure would end his political ambitions just when he is the frontrunner, David ends their affair. In a crime of passion, raging Ryan kills her lover.

    Beckman leads the investigation into Mathews' murder. She sets up the cuckold wife Sydney to take the fall. However, Beckman knows she must eliminate the witness who she saw watching her leave the Mathews' home. Once that is done Sydney will be convicted of her spouse's homicide. That frightened unknown person anonymously calls Denver Journal investigative reporter Catherine McLeod who was covering the campaign and now the homicide; the person insists Beckman killed Mathews. While McLeod seeks witnesses who can tie the deceased and the cop together, Beckman plans to eliminate those who can do so.

    The second Catherine McLeod journalist investigation (see Blood Memory) is an entertaining cat and mouse thriller, as two determined females hunt the same population with different intent in mind. The story line is action-packed though somewhat over the top but that also makes the tale fun. Readers will enjoy the chess match between the pair of feisty females.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted December 13, 2012

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