Whiteley Press, 2013
As with the previous installments in her Southern Fraud Thriller series, Becton has managed to write a mystery that not only holds my interest but keeps me guessing the whole time. Julia and Vincent are back together again, following Vincent's recovery from the shooting at the end of Death Benefits, and working on a straight-up insurance fraud ring case. So they think. The scope of the investigation quickly increases, as more and more suspects are added to the list, and it would appear that the "simple fraud ring" is a much bigger operation. When the young daughter of the doctor who tipped off the DOI is abducted, things get really crazy. And if you've read the other two Southern Fraud books, you know that crazy is definitely ... crazy.
Not only is At Fault a riveting mystery in its own right, but Julia's personal investigation into her sister's rape is finally reaching an "end," which opens a new set of worries and distractions. And, of course, there's Vincent. There's no denying there is some major chemistry between the two - we readers have seen it from the beginning - and they finally start to acknowledge it themselves. Swoon. Sigh. Becton builds chemistry and tension masterfully, being real without being lurid. And, thankfully, the crimes in At Fault are not as ... creepy ... as previous incidents have been. (Woman has skillz, people). There is more cursing than before (which in and of itself doesn't bug me too much, since I'd probably swear myself in the context), but Becton has acknowledged this and is retrofitting At Fault to match the standard set in Absolute Liability. All in all, a great next installment to the series, and I'm officially a fan. Which is, you know, saying a lot since it's a mystery series.
eARC provided by author for review.