Kathleen Stone’s ability to blend in makes her an ace private investigator, but when a cheating spouse she is tailing ends up dead she fears that someone from her past has seen through her disguises. As a private investigator, Kathleen Stone relies on her ability to blend into the background. With a little help from the best wigmaker on the Atlantic seaboard, Kathleen can take on a variety of personas, from a posh real estate agent to a petulant teenage boy. She was once a valuable undercover cop for the New York City Police Department, but since her early retirement following a botched case, she has gone a little soft. These days, with the assistance of a street-smart drag queen, she mostly catches cheating spouses in flagrante. When one husband ends up not so much adulterous as dead, Kat must tune up her rusty skills to catch a killer. She begins investigating the upper echelons of New York, a city that can swing from glamorous to lethal in an instant. She soon finds herself stepping on the toes of her former best friend, Detective Ellis Dekker, as well as a sadistic kingpin she hoped to never see again. Not only do memories of Salvatore Magrelli’s knife-friendly tendencies give her the heebie-jeebies, but his connection to the case makes Kat a possible suspect, too. She needs to move fast…if she is to avoid becoming the next victim.
The Red Chameleon 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
The Red Chameleon is the perfect summer read and a real page turner. It has just the right amounts of twists and turns, but never gets too complicated to follow. It’s sexy, but not sentimental and doesn’t have an ending that ties up too neatly. It's a cut above the usual crime novel with a well-developed and complex heroine who feels very true to life. Kat Stone makes errors and suffers the consequences instead of having things work out magically. I can’t wait for the sequel. -Deborah Hauser
More than 1 year ago
"The Red Chameleon" tells the story of Kathleen Stone who escapes her life into her work as a PI, with lots of different personalities/disguises. Her past is quickly catching up to her after the man she is tailing to examine for cheating ends up shot at the bar where she had followed him. Investigating his death takes her into her past and finds her confronting the people she used to know when she was with the police.
The book is pretty slow at first with in-depth descriptions of wigs and costumes, making the story a little scattered at first. It picks up halfway through and becomes really interesting as we get into solving the murder. There's a bit of a forced love triangle with two of Kathleen's former colleagues and I think we could have done without one of them, as it felt a little forced.
It's a relatively short and thus quick book overall, but I kept putting it down during the first part, as I found it a little hard to follow/less interesting. The ending was worth it, and I really liked the character as we got to know her better and her quirks started to make more sense. I am curious to see where this series will go/if the next one will be more focused/fast-paced.
Please note that I received this book through a goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.
More than 1 year ago
Book Review: Friday, July 17, 2015
The Red Chameleon by Erica Wright
Kathleen Stone used to be one of NYPD’s finest. When an undercover assignment gone wrong almost cost her her life, Kathleen was forced to make drastic changes. With a very real death threat chasing her courtesy of Salvatore Magrelli, Stone reinvents herself as a Private Investigator. To avoid the likes of Salvatore Magrelli tacking her down, Kathleen Stone becomes Kathy Seasons, Katya Lincoln, Kat, Katie, Katrina, and sometimes even a young man named Kevin.
This chameleon-like ability is very helpful, as most of her cases involve checking up on cheating spouses. Danger has decided not to let go of Kathleen Stone without a fight. While doing surveillance on a man named Kramer, Kathy Seasons finds him face down in a bathroom stall, shot in the head. Managing to get away from the scene, Kathy makes a quick change into another identity, Kat, and alerts the police
The next day finds Kathy collecting her paycheck from Mrs. Kramer. But there is much hesitation over chasing it, although she is in desperate need of the money. You may take Kathleen Stone off the NYPD, but it is much harder to flush the NYPD out of Kathleen Stone. Her suspicion is aroused. What if Mrs. Kramer killed her husband herself? What if she hired someone to do the deed? Could she have only been hired to tail Kramer so she would make a convenient suspect? And the fact that the Detective in charge of the case, Ellis Dekker, is an old acquaintance doesn’t improve the feeling of doom Stone has deep in her guts.
Erica Wright has invented a character here that will capture the heart of readers and make them eager to see what each turn of the page will bring. Kathleen Stone winds in and out of characters as she struggles to ascertain why not only Mr. Kramer has been killed, but another person, a Samantha Evans has been discovered dead. Wright allows the reader to feel the frustration of the young PI, who finds herself suspected of both murders. And worse, Kathleen will have to work with Detective Dekker, going into dangerous situations without even her trusty Smith and Wesson .22, because Dekker confiscates it early on.
Wright’s prose flows like a singing brook as she takes Kathleen into deeper and darker dangers with each passing chapter. Her apartment is trashed and her wigs, the source of her amazing identities destroyed. An undercover trip into a suspicious rehab as Kennedy Vanders goes south in a hurry. She is threatened by a woman with a rifle. Someone puts a scorpion into her bed. She nearly dies from anaphylactic shock.
The finale finds she trapped in the dark with a killer who has a silencer on his or her automatic. This novel will grab your interest from the word go and hold you hypnotized until the final page.
I note here that there is a second Kathleen Stone novel The Granite Moth mentioned on the back cover. I look forward to reading it.
This new character will prove to be a winner if I am any judge. Kathleen Stone has extreme depths that have yet to be discovered. Tantalizing hints and clues only make a reader eager for more. This book receives five out of five stars from this reviewer.
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