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Margaret Coel returns to Los Alamos to sign her new thriller, “The Perfect Suspect,” at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at Otowi Station Bookstore.
Catherine McLeod is back! When David Mathews, candidate for Colorado governor, is found murdered in his mansion, all signs point to his wife, Sydney, the perfect suspect. But McLeod has been covering the candidate’s campaign and she has stumbled across rumors that suggest Mathews is not the charismatic man he seems to be and that he has been living a double life. Then an anonymous caller tells McLeod that she saw the killer leave the mansion after she had heard three shots fired.
McLeod thinks it was probably a crank call, but something about the desperation and terror in the voice convinces her that the woman is telling the truth.
The plot moves from Denver’s wealthy, privileged enclaves to the city’s gritty, crime-ridden ghettos as McLeod races a hardened and sophisticated murderer to find the only witness who can bring the killer to justice.
As the hunt goes on, McLeod realizes that the killer is hunting her and before she can save the witness, she must first save herself.
“The Perfect Suspect” is a tale rife with deception. Mathews was not the perfect man or candidate, covering up his willingness to take what he wants: money, women and power.
Beckman with her service awards seems a capable detective with a strong moral compass, but as McLeod discovers, this may not be the case. Even McLeod practices deception by keeping her boyfriend of 10 months, Detective Nick Bustamante, away from her suspicions by conducting her own search for the potential witness.
Coel creates a convoluted plot with a ticking clock. Will McLeod find the witness and evidence against Beckman before the detective? The tension and pacing of the story keep the pages turning.
Coel is the author of 15 mystery novels set among the Arapahos on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation. The novels have been on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. Coel is a five-time winner of the Colorado Book Award and is also winner of the Willa (Cather) Award for Best Novel of the West.
In March 2010, Coel was honored with the Frank Waters Award for “exemplary literary achievement, as well as a canon of writing that communicates a deep understanding, celebration, and love of our human nature and peoples of all races.”
Coel is the author of more than a dozen short stories published in anthologies. Her articles have been published in numerous publications, including the New York Times and American Heritage.
She is also the author of five nonfiction books, including the award-winning biography of an Arapaho chief, “Chief Left Hand,” published by the University of Oklahoma Press. She lives in Boulder, Colo.