BOOK REVIEW: Judgement by Carey Baldwin

When a coed falls prey to a sadistic killer, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin Cassidy and Special Agent Atticus Spenser are called in to testify—one for the defense, one for the prosecution. With warring approaches on justice, these two rivals have been butting heads for years—both in the courtroom and out. And at first, this case appears to be no different.

But when a brutal attack leaves the accused man dead and Caity in critical condition, petty differences take a backseat to saving lives. As the lone survivor, Caity knows too much and the killer—a madman calling himself the Man in the Maze—is coming back for round two. Now, Caity and Spense must join forces to uncover the killer’s identity before Caity’s time—and luck—runs out.

This book is a prime example of why I like mysteries.  Throw in a touch of psychological thriller and it's near spot on.  The romance wannabe parts left me lacking but I wasn't reading for a romance so that could have just been dropped to the side and would have made things better.  I also liked that the ending didn't try to drag out the whodunit like so many other mysteries.  Yeah, I had figured it out, I almost always do.  But the author led you there, gave you the info and then wrapped it up.  Most mysteries miss the wrap up.

Caity chose her life's work as a psychiatrist due to watching her father be put to death for a crime she is still convinced he was innocent of.  She has made her life about learning the ins and outs of killers and then going to bat as an expert witness for those she deems to be innocent of the accusations.  Spense, on the other hand has worked his way up at the FBI to the Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) to work as a profiler.  He's got his own touchy background of learning and focus difficulties that he's developed some interesting tricks and habits to help him overcome and focus as an adult.  They have a history of testifying against each other.  And apparently  he has a history of crushing on her.  (Honest, I feel like this was no the story to introduce attempts at romance.  Caity's too caught up on Dad and Spense still has more story to tell.  The attempts to carry that crush relationship forward were awkward and stilted at best, completely lacking in any sort of heat between them.)  Caity's back in her home town of Phoenix consulting on a case with the man who unsuccessfully defended her dad.  However, it never gets too far because the lawyer is murdered and Caity is shot.

What follows is a convoluted trail of tangent mysteries all related back to the Man in the Maze.  Many of these side stories focusing on Caity's refusal to put her dad's conviction to bed or even just let it be. She has to know the truth regardless.  Many of these stories also go tag along as a means of showing how Caity feels about the way police often go about doing things that she feels are less than ethical.  At the end of the day I feel like there were some procedural things that felt less than legit.  I also feel that while they solved the case there's a slightly cracked marginally open window for this mystery to be revisited, revived what have you.  Though for now they are off to LA for the next book.

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Judgment (Cassidy & Spenser, #1)
About Carey Baldwin
Carey Baldwin is a mild-mannered physician (still practicing full time ) by day and the author or edgy suspense by night. She holds two doctoral degrees, one in medicine and one in psychology. She lives in the southwestern United States with her amazing family and in her spare time loves to chase wildflowers.

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