INGRID THOFT – Loyalty. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, hardcover, June 2013. Berkley, premium paperback, March 2014.

   What we have here is a tome, a solid 474 page book with tall pages of small print in the paperback edition. You get your money’s worth, I think, especially if you’re a fan of PI novels, and even more especially if you’re a fan of female PI detective novels.

   The PI being Fina Ludlow, daughter of Carl Ludlow, a notorious Boston lawyer, and sister to three more lawyers in the family, all male. Although she works for the firm, she is the odd person out — rebellious, tough and outspoken — but when it comes to the missing wife of brother Rand, she is on the job and nothing else but the job until the job is done.

   I do kind of wish that it hadn’t taken her so long to do it. As you might expect in a book as long as this one is, the middle section becomes a bit of a grind. I also wish the ending weren’t quite so obvious. I think most readers will catch on to what’s happening (or what happened) long before Fina does.

   You can blame this on two things. (1) a prologue of sorts (although it’s not called that) in which what happened to Fina’s sister-in-law is described long before we even know her name, and a parallel story in which the story of the villainess in question is told, although we the reader do not know at once how the two stories converge and connect up, and (2) perhaps Fina unconsciously refuses to believe that someone, or someones, plural, in her family could do or be responsible for such misdeeds, as actually turns out to be the case.

   There is already a second book in the series, Identity, and you can buy it in hardcover now. In spite of my misgivings, as stated above, I think I will will buy it, but I will definitely wait for the paperback. Not to mention a time in my life when I have a month of free time available to me. (Do you think I’m joking? Not so much.)