“You know that first instant you set eyes on a person, that gut reaction? It’s like the essence of them is there, if you just pay attention to it.” – Iris Thorne
Having made it through the fallout from the scandals that rocked the investment firm where she works, McKinney Alitzer (Cold Call), Iris has risen to the position of senior investment counselor. She’s hit something of a slow patch of late in both her professional and personal life, however, and is looking for a jump start.
That’s probably why Iris doesn’t pay close enough attention to her gut instinct – and all those internal alarm bells going off – when wealthy widow Barbie Stringfellow breezes into her life out of nowhere. With a larger than life personality to accompany her fast talking and outrageous sense of fashion, the Atlanta transplant hits LA like a hurricane.
In fact, before she knows it both Iris and her coworker, Art Silva, are swept up by the power of Hurricane Barbie, who seems set on seducing both of them. By the time Iris realizes Barbie hasn’t delivered on her financial investment promises, and also seems to be asking a lot of strange questions about the money that went missing from McKinney Alitzer during the scandal, things have gotten extremely complicated in the three-way game of manipulation between Iris, Barbie and Art. When Barbie’s mentally unstable former lover hits the scene, however, that’s when things get downright deadly.
As author Dianne Emley noted in her guest post yesterday (“Beware the Sophomore Jinx”), Slow Squeeze is a very different book than the first in the series, Cold Call. Though the mysteries presented in both are very entertaining, there is a noticeable step forward in Emley’s confidence in her writing in Slow Squeeze. Whereas the overall tenor of Cold Call was a little more light, fast and loose, things in Slow Squeeze are much darker and more intense, with Emley severely narrowing the playing field, squeezing it down to a core of four players. As each tries to manipulate, con, and outwit the others, the result is a highly charged, slightly claustrophobic environment in which the proverbial noose slowly tightens around the characters as each chapter unfolds. You’ll have to discover for yourself exactly who’s left hanging when all’s said and done.
A more than worthy followup to Cold Call, Slow Squeeze was proof positive that both Iris and her creator would be going places; Iris on to three more sequels, and Emley on to her LA Times bestselling Detective Nan Vining series.
Slow Squeeze is out now from Arroyo Bridge Books, as is the first in the series, Cold Call. The rest of the Iris Thorne series reissues, Fast Friends, Foolproof, and Pushover, will be out later this year.