Sara E. Johnson. Set in New Zealand, main character Alexa Glock has to navigate differing cultures (both aboriginal and white) and try to find her place in a murder investigation in which she has inserted herself as a needed professional in forensic odontology.
Released 3rd Sept 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press, it's 320 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.
This is a strong start to a new series by a debut author who was previously unknown to me.The setting, in the Rotorua area of the north island in New Zealand, is spectacular geographically and culturally, and the author gives it a starring role. The characterizations are slightly archetypal and standardized (smart female professional protagonist with tragic past, hunky but prickly male police detective, lots of smoldering looks) but the author manages the plotting and dialogue very well and the result is a solidly enjoyable read. I did have one hang-up with the plotting (a majorly unsubtle foreshadowing about 3/4s of the way into the book), but taken altogether it wasn't a deal breaker for me.
The language is PG, some mild cursing, nothing graphic. There is some slow-burn sexual tension between the main character and the aforementioned hunky detective. Readers who prefer their mysteries with light romance will likely enjoy this one.
Four stars, a promising start to a new forensic procedural.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.