A Good Killing: A Novel (Anna Curtis Series)
Washington, DC, Prosecutor Anna Curtis's life is in chaos. She cancels her upcoming marriage to Jack Bailey, the man she loves. Though he returns her love, when his ex wants to work things out for the sake of their daughter, Anna refuses to wait for Jack to decide if she's the one he wants.
In addition to her heartbreak, Anna receives a frantic call from her sister Jody's friend Kathy, stating that Jody is being accused of murdering their hometown icon, high school coach Owen Fowler.
Anna flies home to Holly Grove, outside of Detroit, to help Jody. Coach Fowler, who perished in a car crash, had a bashed in skull, which likely occurred prior to the accident. Because his vehicle was last sighted in Jody's driveway and because of the alleged affair they were having even though Owen is married, she is believed to be the only suspect.
Soon after Anna's arrival, the police come to Jody's home with a search warrant, for Murder in the First Degree. This lists items to be removed from the dwelling as “Bed sheets; blankets, reasonable swatches from any carpeting, upholstery, walls, or other surfaces which appear to contain or test positive for the presence of human secretions; sponges, rags, mops, cleaning products; washing machine; all sinks, toilets, showers, and pipes attached thereto; any objects that could be used to inflict blunt force trauma to the skull."
Anna is present to defend Jody in any capacity possible. Though a prosecutor, she is now at the opposite side of the spectrum working to represent Jody, and she will do anything she can for an acquittal. Anna feels something is off with Jody, and believes she is withholding secrets—nothing that would make her affirm her sister is guilty, but things aren't quite right.
Anna's high school friend and Afghanistan war veteran Cooper Bolden joins with Anna and Jody to help prove Jody's innocence. The town's populace is enraged by Jody's alleged crime and by Anna trying to prove she is not responsible. They believe Coach Owen to have been a hero who did so much good for so many in this slowly dying town.
When Jody's home burns down under suspicious circumstances, Cooper invites the women to stay at his home in the abandoned, war-zone part of Detroit where he maintains a communal farm in hopes of rejuvenating a small part of the decaying city.
The investigation of Owen's past brings up some indiscretions that may have been mitigating factors in his murder, but Anna struggles to come up with an alternative story to the one the police are concocting.
The fourth in the Anna Curtis series, this novel is written in two voices: Anna’s and Jody’s. The most interesting sections are those penned in a journalistic style by Jody. Her tale begins ten years prior to the murder. Through Jody's musings and Anna's legal assistance and love for her, the reader is kept captivated up until the climatic ending.