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Brutality by Ingrid Thoft
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Brutality

by Ingrid Thoft

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Fina Ludlow, a private investigator, is hired to find the person responsible for the senseless attack on a former college athlete/wife/mother. This search will take Fina into the world of college athletic departments, athletic boosters, and even the cutthroat world of science research. Fina has a host of possible attackers and possible motives. The more she uncovers, the more questions are raised than answered in Brutality, the third installment in the Fina Ludlow series by Ingrid Thoft.

Josefina "Fina" Ludlow isn't a typical private investigator. She can be a bit abrupt and has a tendency to step on a lot of toes in her quest for justice and the truth. If juggling her responsibilities to her clients and keeping everything legal isn't difficult enough, Fina also has to juggle her family responsibilities, as well as responsibilities to her father's law firm. To say that Fina is the "black sheep" of the family is putting it mildly. Fina loves her family, but says what she thinks and does whatever she knows is right. Fina has three older brothers and all are partners in the family law firm. Scott is the tough but lovable family man, married with three sons. Scott and his wife Patty, are also playing surrogate parents to their fifteen-year-old-niece Haley (read Loyalty to find out more on that situation). Matthew is closest to Fina in age and is also single. Rand is widowed and has been exiled to Miami (read Loyalty to find out more). Fina flunked out of law school and is a disappointment for her father, and she isn't demure but openly defiant with her mother. Did I mention there's a lot of family baggage and drama in addition to the drama of the investigation?

Now that you have a better idea of who Fina is, let's throw into the mix she has two male friends-with-benefits (Milloy - a masseuse and college buddy and Cristian - a police detective), the ongoing battle with her father and brothers to force Rand to stay away from his teenage daughter Haley, and her function as an intermediary between her friend Risa (an adoptee) and her newly found biological aunt. On the investigative side, Fina has to deal with a distraught mother that wants answers, a dispassionate husband with secrets to be uncovered, an athletic booster with a fondness for pretty young female athletes, and someone that wants to derail the investigation by putting a bomb in car driven by Fina. Yes, there's a lot going on in this story, but that is exactly what makes the Fina Ludlow stories so intriguing. The reader doesn't just get to see the professional side of Fina, but we also witness all facets of her life. Ms. Thoft provides a taut story filled with mystery, intrigue, drama, and just the right amount of dark humor to keep things interesting. I found Brutality to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. If you enjoy reading mysteries (not cozy or hard-boiled), then you'll definitely want to add the Fina Ludlow series to your list. If you've already read Loyalty (book 1) and Identity (book 2) in this series, then you'll want to grab a copy of Brutality to read as soon as possible. I can't wait for the next installment in this series just to see what Fina will be up to next. ( )
  BookDivasReads | Jul 10, 2015 |
Fina is hired by Bobbi, the mother of Liz, who is discovered with a head injury after being attacked in her own home. Liz dies a few days later. She had been planning to sue the university she attended and played soccer for, after suffering health issues arguably as a result of playing with concussions. (As a side issue, since soccer is a non-contact sport, I would imagine concussions are quite rare, but anyway...) Fina assembles a list of suspects and contacts and basically hassles them in rotation and very very gradually discovers the truth. (Or most of it anyway; the third person in the bomb plot is not discovered).

I forget exactly how the second novel ends, but the ploy to banish Rand to Florida rather than have him prosecuted for child molestation/statutory rape appals me. The side story with the evil "Greta who only wants a kidney" was a welcome distraction at times. Very readable, with humorous touches. ( )
  pgchuis | Jul 1, 2015 |
Liz Barone is attacked in her kitchen and left with a life-threatening injury. Fina Ludlow is hired by Liz's mom to find her attacker. Was the attack a random act or was it connected to Liz's lawsuit against her alma mater, New England University.
This is the 3rd book in the Fina Ludlow Series. You don' t have to read the first 3 to enjoy this book. It is a bit long but it's worth the read. ( )
  bah195 | Jun 8, 2015 |
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