Detective Aiden Carlisle and psychologist Dawn Kinsley brought together by a vicious crime as they struggle with their past and fight for their future.
Conflict of Interest is a gripping cop drama focusing on two main characters who have to grapple with their pasts and a vicious crime that affects both of them. The story focuses on character development and, despite harsh realities intruding, has an up-beat, positive vein running throughout.
It is difficult to categorize this wonderful book, and I decided to settle on cop drama because a lot of the story revolves around what it means to be a cop or be next of kin to a cop. The main focal points are Aiden, a cop in the sexual assault unit (kudos to those who serve and protect in this grisly environment), and Dawn, a psychologist who counsels rape survivors and comes from a cop family. Jae, whose books are renowned for their believable and psychologically thorough character development, delivers with Conflict of Interest an outstanding example of her skills as a writer: yes, there is a crime to solve—a rape no less—, yes, there is a criminal trial, which has the reader at times sitting on the edge of her chair and grind her teeth in silent desperation, and yes, there is a budding romance overshadowed by brutal violence … but ultimately this story is about overcoming your fears, your past, your limitations, and even severe trauma. It is no surprise and most appropriate that most of the book deals with this “aftermath” until an uplifting end.
The main characters and the cast of secondary characters have a way to worm themselves into the reader’s heart, and there are many light-hearted, soothing scenes and that upbeat-positive vein I mentioned before that more than balance out the at times bleak moments.Getting to knowthe people surrounding the two main characters is one of the many positive “side-effects” of the book, and one hopes to have the chance to encounter them again and feel again the warmth and compassion exuding from them.
Conflict of Interest is dedicated to “all survivors” and is a sensitive and tender exploration of how to survive against big odds. I have read and re-read the first edition and was asked to test-read the first draft of the second edition. It says a lot that I happily read and again re-read the final second edition. This is a book to be savored. And beware: Don’t start this substantial page turner without the time at hand to finish it ASAP. I hope the sequel Next of Kin will be re-issued soon as well.