The first chapter of DiAnn Mills’ latest release, “Pursuit of Justice,” disappointed me. I usually find myself liking her heroes or heroines from the start. Not so in this case. I found Bella Jordan a bit snippy and brittle, harsh and self-centered. I simply didn’t like her as a person.
Fortunately, Mills’ easy-to-read adventure style made it worth continuing and I came to like Bella as I learned more about her. The very qualities I found so distasteful at first turned out to be legitimate parts of a complex woman.
Jordan, an FBI agent, returns to her past physically and emotionally as she seeks to bring a murderer to justice. People from Bella’s past and some new acquaintances cross paths in a mix of mystery, detection and archaeology. A treasure reputed to exist in rural Texas leads to murder and misunderstanding. Bella has to determine who she can trust and find a way to protect those for whom she cares.
Is the villain Carr Sullivan, former bad boy businessman turned semi-recluse? Perhaps the sheriff, Darren Adams, has decided to improve his finances. Jasper and Lydia, Sullivan’s employees, could be behind the murders. Or is there someone else behind the evil in the area? Can Bella solve the murders before anyone else dies?
Mills writes about Texas with the insight of someone who knows it well. Her descriptions of the terrain bring it to life. She uses the countryside to stage her novel with the authenticity so critical to the success of a story. Her attention to detail pulls the reader into the scene.
As the third volume in Mills’ “Call of Duty” series, “Pursuit of Justice” continues a great tradition but stands alone. The earlier volumes, “Breach of Trust” and “Sworn to Protect,” looked at other branches of government and the women working in them. All three are well worth reading.
If you enjoy solving mysteries, you’ll love “Pursuit of Justice.” It provides a wild ride through tough country and a heroine full of human failings.