Captain Josie Corsino, of the LAPD’s Hollywood station, is a pleasingly real, intelligent and flawed protagonist. She’s a great cop but knows she owes her promotion as much to being female as anything else. She’s a good friend too, wise to the skills and weaknesses of her crew. She’s a loving mother, balancing a need to boot the son out of the nest with a longing to see him succeed. And she’s a faithful wife, for all that she’s tempted to stray, feeling herself let down by a husband who fails to understand her. Of course, Josie fails to understand him too. And the author's writing stays so firmly in character, the reader just might want to defend the husband while sharing the captain's pain. Communication’s the key, I guess, and one who keeps secrets so successfully at work might indeed find sharing difficult at home.
In Dead Wrong, Josie’s best Sergeant, a man she’s seriously drawn to, has been involved in a shooting. Questions arise about secrets he’s keeping too, and Josie struggles with a mix of professional trust and suspicion, even while she balances personal trust and honesty.
Police-work and legal details are thoroughly convincing. Characters, with all their failings and quirks, feel ready to step off the page onto the TV screen. Drama blends the low-key everyday with sudden spurts of adrenalin. And the dialog has a convincing authority combined with very human vulnerability. Dead Wrong is dead right in its details and offers a thoroughly enjoyable counter-point to the usual police procedural. Josie drinks but not to excess. She’s hard driven but still keeps her family together. She’s hard done by but stays convincingly in control. And she’s a great protagonist, full of character, dry wit, and stubborn intelligence.
Disclosure: I’m writing my honest review of this book, received as a free bound galley from the publisher.
Title: Dead Wrong
Author: Connie Dial
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Publication date: May 2013