In Taking On Lucinda by Frank Martorana, in the fall of 1982, Chief Merrill Stephenson discovers Aaron Whitmore has been shot. As he investigates the death of his mentor, a group of animal activists called FOAM descend on Jefferson to protest against the use of animals at a cosmetic research centre. When Merrill’s brother, town vet Kent’s animal patients begin to disappear, the focus turns to FOAM and their leader Aubrey. Then events take a sinister turn, including arson and an underworld of horrific animal cruelty. Kent and Aubrey’s relationship turns from enemies to partners as they track down the criminals behind the atrocities. Time is running out and Aubrey risks her life for the cause she believes in.
The author has created a superb suspense novel. Each character had an important role to play in the plot and were all believable and excellently created. The dialogue was authentic to the characters and it brought them to life. I especially loved the relationship between Kent and Aubrey, and how it developed through the story. May-May was a fantastic villain. There were many twists and turns throughout the plot, and the build up towards the ending was gripping and exciting. The plot moved forward constantly and the conflicts were perfectly spread out. There were scenes of violence towards animals, but they were totally needed for the plot. I would love to read more from this author; the way he can set a scene and build tension is superb. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a suspense thriller or whodunit novel.