Lisa Black, a former forensic scientist in Cleveland, has written her debut novel about -- no surprise here -- a forensic scientist in Cleveland. Takeover strains the reader's suspension of belief at nearly every turn, but that doesn't stop it from being an entertaining story.
Theresa MacLean is called out to investigate the scene of a murder; the case is a bit of a puzzler, but nothing really out of the ordinary. The situation quickly changes from mundane to murderous when the homicide ties in to a hostage situation at the Federal Reserve Bank -- a stand-off that sees MacLean's fiance taken prisoner.
Takeover demonstrates some of the weaknesses that often crop up in first crime novels -- e.g., characters who behave improbably in order to advance the plot, detectives who figure out cases based on clues that would've baffled even Sherlock Holmes -- but there's an undeniable appeal to the narrative.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, August 17, 2008