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The Return Of The Fallen Angels Book Club, the third book in the Hollis Morgan mystery series by R. Franklin James finds Hollis as a successful probate attorney at a respected law firm in the Bay Area.
Her climbing up the ladder was not easy. She started with being conned by her ex and spending time in prison for the only crime she’s ever committed: being a naive young woman who believed the lies her ex-husband fed her.
In the previous two books we followed Hollis as she was working hard not only to redeem herself and get a full pardon, but also to make a name for herself in the harsh world of ruthless lawyers.
The story in the third book starts with a case that is close to her heart: her mentor and former parole officer Jeffrey Wallace, who was the catalyst for her becoming what she is today, was murdered. It is up to Hollis to find out who did it and why.
In addition she finds herself working a difficult disinheritance case which can take up all her time as well. And this is where the Fallen Angels book club comes to life again. It is a book club made of white collar ex-convicts with a love for reading books. And solving crimes on the side.
Since everyone in the book club knew Jeffrey Wallace and owed him big time, nobody has many qualms about helping solve his murder case. Afterall without him none of them would be whatever they are today, and they all know it.
The book is fast paced, the twists and turns pop up liberally in the book and the story captivates the attention just as much as the previous ones. Hollis is a strong character who knows to stay her ground. She also has a vulnerability which she hides well. When it comes to solving a murder and getting justice for a person who deserves it, she has no second thoughts about doing whatever she can to do so, even though she knows that she might just put own life in danger in the process.
Hollis is a well fleshed out character and I enjoy watching her develop and seeing her strengths unfold. She has recently met a nice guy – a police detective no less, one who knows all about her past and accepts her with all the baggage she carries. Yet she can’t trust him fully – not yet. Knowing about her past with her ex, her lack of trust comes to no surprise. She doesn’t disclose everything about her adventures and investigations to him.
I found this third book just a bit darker than the previous two, which suited me well (I like dark and gritty novels that keep me at the edge of my seat while reading). The two storylines are well fleshed out and Hollis is a character that you can’t but feel close to.
The Return Of The Fallen Angels Book Club is well crafted, the writing is top-notch and you can see just far the author has come from her first book. The confidence in writing shows every step of the way.
I’m now looking forward to the next book in the series to see just what adventures Hollis and her book club are up to next.