A fourteen year old cold case. A mother desperate to have her daughter’s murderer brought to justice. Det. Lexi Dixon has been handed the case in hopes that fresh eyes can solve it. The victim: Josie Parker – a teenager with a secret life, a ballet dancer with a boyfriend no one had met, not even her best friend, and a mother, Jenny Parker, who controlled her life. And then the unthinkable happened, Josie was murdered in an alley beside a bar. Dixon and her partner, Det. Zach Montgomery delve into the case, slowly uncovering clues that prior detectives hadn’t. Was it the mother’s secret that led to Josie’s demise? Josie’s affair with an older man? Jealousy between friends? Can Dixon and Montgomery solve the case before their boss pulls the plug? Will Josie’s murder remain unsolved? These are the burning questions the reader will ask until the very end.
The Life and Death of Josie is Angela Kay’s fourth novel and what I consider her best yet. Kay creates a lead character, Det. Lexi Dixon, who is both strong and vulnerable. Dixon is a dogged detective, driven, and meticulous. In her personal life, she is the victim of domestic abuse. When we meet her in the story, she’s found the courage to divorce her husband and fight for custody of her son. It is that strength and vulnerability that pushes Dixon to solve Josie’s murder and fight for her son even though the odds for both are stacked against her.
Kay’s other characters are also well-defined – from Dixon’s partner to Jenny Parker, to the ballet coach and his family, to Josie’s secret friends and the other witnesses and suspects in the case. There are no flat, two-dimensional characters in this novel. Kay shows them to us with their beauty spots, warts and all – egos, jealousy, envy, addiction, and rage.
The plot of the story is also well thought out. From the moment Dixon takes over the cold case, the reader is drawn into not only the twists and turns of the case, but also becomes invested in the secret life of Josie Parker and the domestic challenges facing Dixon. Kay intricately weaves these two women’s stories together. The reader cheers for Josie’s case to be solved and for Dixon’s personal life to be resolved successfully.
If you enjoy a good mystery with a police procedural driven narrative, then this is the novel for you. I highly recommend this novel.
Rating: 5 stars
When Available: May 10, 2019
Where to Pre-order: Amazon
Other Novels by Angela Kay
Short Fiction by Angela Kay
About the Author
Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay always had the imagination and passion of a writer. She has written many, many short stories in her lifetime, most of which won’t ever see the light of day!
During college, her playwright professor had urged her to submit her one-act play to a 2009 playwright contest. To her shock and glory, she was one of 23 across the United States to win for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.
She’d begun writing her first novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes in 2009 during a Creative Writing college course. The first draft was well-received by her peers and professor. After seven years of writing and re-writing, the final draft of Manny Grimes became so unrecognizable and so different from the direction she initially went in. Finally, finding the nerves to show it to the public, Angela published it in 2016 with ThomasMax Publishing. A year later, she followed it up with a second book, Blood Runs Cold.
Realizing how difficult it is to break into the whole writing scheme, Angela began a blog to help other authors, many of which deserve glory. Between her busy life and keeping up with her writing, she enjoys reading and reviewing books written by both traditional authors and independent authors.
Angela draws her inspiration from international bestselling author, Steven James, as well as Agatha Christie and James Patterson.
Aside from writing, Angela enjoys watching TV and movies. Her favorite entertainers include James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Mark Wahlberg, Bryan Adams, and Jeremy Camp.
Angela lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.