Ill Will by J.M. Redmann
In a city still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans PI Micky Knight finds that her services are more in need than ever, as are her partner Cordelia’s skills as a physician. Micky has her hands full trying to fob off one client’s demands to discover the root of the fake medicine his nephew is taking and dealing with the aftermath of the torching of a slimy contractor’s property. When she gets pulled into tracking down missing clients from Cordelia’s practice, Micky finds that all her cases intertwine in a way that results in multiple deaths.
On the personal side, Micky and Cordelia are dealing with long hours and long separations, along with the post-traumatic stresses of the hurricane. Their closest friends are dealing with similar issues, along with the loss of jobs, insurance, and homes. When a medical emergency strikes close to home, Micky and Cordelia find their relationship tested once more, with no guarantees for a happy ending.
Readers familiar with the series will understand more of the backstory, but Redmann divulges enough details for a new reader to be comfortable with the book. Secondary characters have a strong role in Ill Will, allowing Redmann to introduce a lot of interesting material about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the cleanup and reconstructions of New Orleans, and the struggles of people trying to rebuild their lives and homes. Fraught with issues of insurance loss, both for belongings and persons, the lines between those who have and those who have-not become sharper. Redman uses her characters draw attention to the personal details that many outside the area may not have known about in a way that does not overshadow the tale.
Ill Will is the seventh outing for Micky Knight, but the first I have picked up. Needless to say, I will be starting from the beginning to see the full story of this down-to-earth protagonist.