Daisy in Chains

Hamish Wolfe, a convicted serial killer of women, has never stopped proclaiming his innocence, even from prison years after his conviction. Because of his charisma and good looks, many female admirers believe his assertions.

The only woman Wolfe wants in his corner, though, is defense attorney Maggie Rose, famed for getting convictions overturned, including for people whose guilt is almost certain. Maggie doesn't take on an appeal unless she thinks she can succeed, and at first rebuffs Wolfe's letters imploring her to be his lawyer. After she pays him a visit, she's still not sure she can trust him. Wolfe's entreaties don't let up, however, and Maggie finds him harder and harder to resist despite her misgivings. What if this case turns out to be her last? Succumbing to Wolf could be dangerous, and she may well risk losing not only an appeal but her life.

Sharon Bolton (Little Black Lies) is the queen of creating an unsettling atmosphere around strong female protagonists whose prickly nonconformist attitudes make them riveting. Maggie, like the lead character in Bolton's Lacey Flint series, doesn't care what people think of her and does everything on her terms; she even sports bright blue hair. The mystery is intriguing and includes thought-provoking social discourse--in the form of blog posts and media reports--on misogyny and how political correctness doesn't cover public fat-shaming (Wolfe's alleged victims are plus-size). Astute readers will probably guess what the major revelations are before they're disclosed, but Bolton doesn't need to shock in order to hold readers captive until the last page. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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