My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Troubled Water is the third in John DeDakis’s United States-set crime thriller series featuring Lark Chadwick, a young and ballsy investigative newspaper journalist with a nose for a sharp headline, a clever angle and the solving of murders. This book sees Lark leave her Wisconsin home, job and friends for a new post in Georgia. Moving from the weekly Pine Bluff Standard to the daily Columbia Sun-Gazette is already a change of pace, but she also finds herself a reluctant part of the story when, on her first night in town, she almost literally stumbles across the body of a teenage girl. Within days, a second victim is found in the same spot and Lark is determined to identify the killer. She finds that she is not short of suspects, and worries that one or two may be taking a personal interest in making her the next headline.
Troubled Water is the first of John DeDakis’s books I’ve read, but the excellent story largely stands alone and does not rely on previous knowledge. Lark is a prickly but likeable heroine, and both a professional and human reporter. DeDakis’s own background and experience as a journalist is evident throughout the book and provides an interesting angle on the whodunit genre. The story is well paced and developed and a very easy, smooth read, which keeps you guessing until a very effective reveal; I was convinced I knew the identity of the murderer, and was completely wrong! I’m very pleased I’ve discovered the world of Lark Chadwick; I can wholeheartedly recommend Troubled Water and will definitely be reading the earlier books in the series. Reviewed by Julia for Readers’ Favorite.