Reporter Jessie Tucker is The Golden Girl in the media following her involvement in a crime. Maura Walsh is The Golden Girl of the police department, daughter of a senior officer, but hiding a dark secret. One night Maura is murdered and Jessie is determined to uncover the truth.
This the second book to feature Jessie (see my review of The Silent Victim). She throws herself into Maura’s murder story with as much passion as she did the previous case that was so personal for her. The aftermath of her own attack continues to affect her physical health and the media coverage and publicity have given her a career boost.
There are plenty of plot twists as Jessie investigates: dirty cops, the mob, undercover cops, family secrets. The clues are hunted down and suspects interviewed by the intrepid reporter and she must sieve through the secrets, lies and misdirections to find the truth.
Jessie works so well as a lead character and her first person narrrative lets us see her perspective and motivations clearly. Her determination and single-mindedness make her unpopular with other characters but endear her to the reader. I had forgotten that author Dana Perry is a man as he writes a female lead with the intricacies of a woman’s mind very convincingly.
This book would work as a standalone if you haven’t read the first in the series as there is enough detail to catch the reader up but not enough to spoil it if you want to go back and read it.
Overall, The Golden Girl was a dramatic and enjoyable thriller novel with a convincing central character.