One man’s twisted obsession turns to murder in Diana Copland’s tautly written and immensely suspenseful A Reason to Believe, the story of Detective Matthew Bennett and his involvement in the investigation of missing six-year-old Abigail Marie Reynolds, on Christmas Eve.
There are things that are horrifying; then there are things that are so utterly beyond comprehension, things that defy reason and sanity, the sorts of things that give you nightmares and haunt you through your days, that leave you scarred and scared to believe in anything good anymore. In the life of a cop, that’s a little truer than for most. In the life of Matt Bennett, it seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Left devastated by the murder of his partner and lover, in a sad case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Matt is the detective who discovers little Abby’s body. But it wasn’t jarring enough to have made the gruesome discovery. No, it was made even more disturbing by the fact that it was little Abby herself who led Matt to her dreadful hiding place in the basement of her own home.
Thrown off the case and put on administrative leave for doing nothing more than telling the truth, Matt is forced to stand on the sidelines and watch as his department bungles and botches its way through an investigation with no leads and no other viable suspects than Marc Reynolds, Abby’s father—or at least none they’re pursuing. Though Matt’s own instincts tell him the man is innocent, that’s not much to go on when his opinion holds little to no credibility with his homophobic boss, who now thinks he’s delusional, as well, and is looking for any reason to fire Matt. Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, and sometimes desperate people—even those who are jaded and those whose job it is to deal in tangible proof—will do whatever it takes to get to the truth.
That’s where renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick comes into play, and it’s when he and Matt begin to work together to solve Abby’s murder that things take a turn for the incredible. It’s a race against time, as Abby’s spirit becomes more agitated that her father is in danger of being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. It’s a race against the odds as the physical danger to both Matt and Kiernan escalates, the closer they get to the ugly truth and the more evident it becomes they’re fighting against men who’re supposed to be the good guys.
A Reason to Believe is the perfect blend of murder mystery, romance, and the supernatural, and if you look closely enough, you might make some connections to the case of another murdered six-year-old girl; though in the book, unlike in real life, justice was served. This book was an edge-of-my-seat, couldn’t-put-it-down read, with a red-herring or two thrown in just to keep me guessing at the identity of the killer, all the way to the big reveal.
Not only were Matt and Kiernan completely wonderful in their roles as romantic heroes of the story, but Diana Copland also populated her entire cast with the perfect blend of both the good and the bad, and I’d love nothing more than for these two men to take this paranormal crime solving business seriously enough to come back again and again. And soon.