The mayor is smart, funny, and loved by all. Except for the person who leaves him in a pool of his own blood. . . .
Madison is booming with dreamers and drifters, visionaries and entrepreneurs. Among them is Sydney Richardson, the daughter of a cop who died on these streets and now the proud, stressed-out owner of Hush Money, one of the city’s top new restaurants. Like everyone else in town, Sydney is shocked when Madison’s popular mayor—a crusty, charismatic man of the people—is shot to death in his own home. But the news hits especially close to home for Sydney because one of her own stands accused of the brutal crime.
Sydney’s the one person that Wanda Fields, a quiet, hardworking waitress and single mother, can think to call after her arrest. Now she might be Wanda’s only hope. As Sydney gets wrapped up in the case, she runs up against powerful people with secrets to hide—and a mayor who wasn’t the person everyone thought he was. After Wanda divulges a bombshell of her own, Sydney’s sure the real killer is still out there, hiding among Madison’s elite, perhaps even dining in her beloved restaurant . . . with more than enough motive to kill again.
What I liked: When reviewing a suspense (murder mystery) it’s very hard to not say too much. Dr. Woods incorporates many twists into her books (Mort Grant/Justice Series) and if you inadvertently give one away, you’re going to spoil it for the reader. So, I’m going to talk in the broadest of terms about Hush Money.
I don’t have any recollection how Dr. Woods ended up in my book queue. I think initially the title of her first book, The Fixer, caught my eye and then I read the synopsis and the rest is history. At this point, anything she writes, I’m going to read.
I’m not sure if she’s done with the Mort Grant/Justice series but am ecstatic she has started another series. While the protagonist in Hush Money, Sydney Richardson, isn’t as kick butt at this point, she is smart and she reads people pretty well. Her backstory so far is….she was adopted but evidently her birth parents were very wealthy and Sidney was provided lots of money (maybe guilt driven or Hush Money), not to try and find her birth parents at a certain age. Her father (I’m referring to her adoptive parents as her parents because they raised her) was a cop killed in the line of duty and her mother owned a diner). Sydney takes the money and opens two very different restaurants. A high end one and tavern where all the cops (10 - 10, cop speak for "off duty") can go and blow off steam and be safe.
The synopsis provides the rest of what the reader needs when starting Hush Money. The way Dr. Woods puts the story together and doles out the clues and the twists is fabulous. I didn’t want to put the book down and found it extremely hard to find good stopping points. While it is a mystery suspense, the characters drive the story. I became invested in each and every one and want more!
What I didn’t like: I’m always going to be partial to the Mort Grant/Justice series and this one is not as gritty and violent but more mystery than thriller. I certainly enjoyed Hush Money and can see the progress of T.E. Woods as an author.
Priced at $4.99, the reader more than gets their money’s worth in my opinion. This is Dr. Woods’ seventh novel and yet her books remain affordable, so a big shout out to the author and publisher. This is an e-book only at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I was lucky enough to get an ARC through the publisher on NetGalley and this review is as honest as I can be!