Spurred Ambition [LARGE TYPE EDITION] (Pinnacle Peak Mysteries (Paperback))
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|Rating: 4 An Un-Twisted Plot
Hating Twist Phelan ought to be easy--endurance athlete, lawyer, writer, catchy name, and a pretty face to top it all off--but you just can't dislike anyone who writes this well. Spurred Ambition is the first Pinnacle Peak mystery I've read, but now I want to read the first two! So much takes place in this novel, but all the ends are tied up nicely by the last page, except for one little tiny piece of string that will lead, hopefully, into the next book! Keep writing, Twist!!
|Rating: 5 Exciting Mystery with a Terrific Heroine
Business attorney Hannah Dain finds herself in the middle of an anti-Indian protest, a kidnapping and complex securities fraud. All the while trying to deal with a shocking family revelation and her relationship with her boyfriend
If you are looking for a little adventure this mystery has it in spades. Twist Phelan has written a complex mystery filled with lots of twists and turns. Her heroine, Hannah Dain, is a likeable, adventurous woman who has her fill of problems both family and business related. From the very beginning when Hannah finds herself in the middle of an anti-Indian protest until the end you will find yourself unable to put down the book until you finally make it to the dramatic ending.
|Rating: 5 For fans of Tony Hillerman
After learning that her mother committed malpractice to win a case and had an affair that resulted in Hannah Dain being born the attorney leaves Richard Dain's law practice to look for her biological father. This proves hard to do since all the records were sealed by court order on behest of Richard, the man she thought was her father who preferred her younger sister.
She accepts a short term job with the Tohono O'odham Indian tribe to put together a real estate private placement. The day before she starts work, she goes rock climbing on the reservations and runs into difficulties. She is rescued by Tony Soto, a Native American/Latino who turns out to be her boss. While on a tour of the reservation, three men wearing blue bandanas so Hannah doesn't see their faces kidnap Tony. The police search for him while she finds his book with two sets of numbers for the real estate deal. When Tony escapes more violence occur starting with the death of the tribal chief. Hannah begins to wonder just how innocent Tony is and if his zeal for the betterment of the tribe is real or a clever fraud.
Fans of Tony Hillerman will rejoice now that Twist Phelan joins the sub-genre scene. Readers don't have to be financial analysts to get the gist of the security scam and in fact learn more about fiscal misconduct then can be found in a SEC case. There are three murders, one kidnapping, evidences of money manipulations that Hannah thinks are linked together and she sets out to prove it. This is a very entertaining and action filled amateur sleuth tale that brings to life the Indian reservation on the Arizona desert.
|Rating: 4 Hannah is an appealing heroine
Spurred Ambition is Phelan's third novel (following 2002's Heir Apparent and 2005's Family Claims) set in Pinnacle Peak, Arizona (loosely placed somewhere between Scottsdale and Carefree/Cave Creek) and second to feature the high strung trouble magnet Hannah Dain. Still reeling from the troublesome developments in her personal life detailed in Family Claims, lawyer Dain tries to distract herself by taking on some legal work for the Tohono O'odham, a local Native American tribe. Handling what appears to be an uncomplicated bond offering for the tribe under the guidance of Tony Soto in the Office of Tribal Affairs, Hannah is thrown for a loop when her superior is kidnapped right before her eyes. Tony's disappearance puts her on alert to a potential securities fraud, but there's no way she can predict the sequence of odd and decidedly dangerous events about to befall her.
Phelan's breezy style makes for riveting reading, and her first hand knowledge of legal matters adds verisimilitude to her storytelling. Intelligent, athletic, brash and gutsy, yet still vulnerable somehow, Hannah is a very attractive point of view character, one who readers quickly grow to admire and care about. Although Phelan loads myriad dilemmas on her capable heroine's shoulders, including strained relations with her family, questions about her parentage, a tenuous relationship with a former flame, and a life-threatening situation in her workplace, none of it seems overdone; the author has struck a delicate balance that will certainly appeal to her audience and leave them craving more.