on Tour September 1-30, 2020
After losing her mother at a young age, only child, Kelly Pruett, grew up with her father, Roger, and his private investigation agency. Though he always promised to train her, Kelly did little more than run the office and serve subpoenas. Years later, still working with her father and devastated by her husband’s affair, a newly divorced Kelly returns to her childhood home. Her dreams of training with her dad are dashed when he dies suddenly. Kelly struggles to take care of her home and the eight-year-old deaf daughter she has partial custody of.
Kelly gets her first real investigating job when Georgette Hanson shows up at her office. Unsatisfied with the police findings of accidental death, Georgette is convinced her daughter, Brooke, did not stumble onto train tracks while drunk and get hit by a commuter train. She knows Brooke was murdered and believes the one lone witness was involved.
Hesitant to take a case already closed by police, Kelly does because in the letter her father left her, he asked if “Georgette Hanson” were to ever come to Kelly for help, she would do so without question.
Channeling the father she adored, Kelly moves through the investigation that could borrow its name from the old Franken book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. No one is upfront and honest with her. Even the most sincere hold back and/or distort the truth. Kelly believes Brooke was murdered and she knows who did it, but new folks with motives keep popping up.
It doesn’t help that she gets distracted by Jeff, the overprotective ex who wants to reconcile, his mother, Arlene, who thinks Kelly’s work is too dangerous, and Kyle, her contact in the police department, a sexy young cop she’s daydreaming about more and more. The attempts on her life also don’t make her job easier… and they don’t stop her.
Kelly Pruett is a good character, determined to live life on her own terms. While I respected her, I didn’t care for her much in the beginning because I wasn’t convinced she knew what her terms were. The only genuine feeling I got from her was her devotion to her daughter. Everything else felt forced, especially her intention to keep the investigation agency going. She idolized Roger Pruett and seemed to want to keep the business going as a tribute to him rather than a profession she wanted. The Brooke Hanson case will help her find her way, as well as bring revelations about her father that dim the glowing image she’s held of him.
Derailed is a well-written mystery with sleight-of-hand plot twists that lead to a killer who committed the perfect crime(s)… until Kelly Pruett got involved.
When a single mom of a deaf daughter inherits her father’s PI business and aims to prove that a young woman’s death by train wasn’t an accident, she finds herself on a crash course with her complicated family and a killer determined to keep the truth hidden.
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!