Damage Control: Michael Bowen

Author: Michael Bowen
Series: Josie Kendall Mysteries (Book 1)
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (August 2, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1464206074
ISBN-13: 978-1464206078
Source: NetGalley/ Poisoned Pen Press

Publishers Summary (Excerpt)
When shadowy gray market hustler and aspiring crony capitalist Jerzy Schroeder is murdered while Josie Kendall is hitting him up for a million dollars to help him cash in on alternative energy funding, the police suspect her of adultery and her husband, Rafe, of homicide. Josie, who works for Majority Values Coalition, an “activist fundraising organization,” is a new but passionate DC player. Suave Rafe, long a Washington insider, also a long a widower, is passionate about Josie. He’s on a new track as a literary agent and supporting Josie’s how-Washington-works learning curve.

The man standing beside her has just been shot dead by a sniper, her nice shirt has been ruined by his blood. Josie calls her boss first - then the police. With those formalities dealt with, Josie goes home to Rafe where the pair of them sit down to plan a strategy. No, not how to discover who murdered Jerzy Schroeder (though that would be useful information) but to bang out a strategy. 
Josie wants that million dollars and so meets with Jerzys ex wife Ann DeHoic, aka “the grey lady” because she wears many shades of (perfectly matched) grey. Their meeting takes place in DeHoic’s Mercedes, DeHoic pals up to Josie because she want to get in on her ex husbands deal and, because Josie wants her money, negotiations commence, or maybe it is more apt to say the games begin!
It is during their conversation that we get to learn a whole lot about Josie’s Cajun/Creole background and how she discovered her love for the machinations of the political world and lost her heart to Washington.

Apart from all of this wheeling and dealing, Rafe has to clear his name of the suspicion of murder and Josie needs to fend off the accusation of adultery so there is quite a lot going on.
I thought the characters of Rafe and Josie to be particularly well drawn as I found myself being quite shocked by their cold and calculating strategising.

I did find some of the dialogue hard to follow as the author didn't provide enough speaker identifiers for my liking, but that is a personal preference.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a convoluted plot and a sharp witty story in a political  setting.

Copy provided by NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press in return for an unbiased review

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