Jan McNeil is a senior prosecutor in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has been assigned to prosecute Jacob Hall, a white supremacist with the Ivory Nation, for identiy theft though she really wants to pursue the leadership of the Ivory Nation.
Living next door to McNeil is the rather mysterious Simon Green who is a writer of police procedural manuals though he portrays himself as the author of books on economics.
The best character in the books is Hailey Miller, a little girl prosecuted by McNeil at 8, to whom McNeil has become attached and wants to adopt. Hailey speaks with the wonderful simplicity of children. She is sure she cannot be adopted, no what McNeil tells her, as she is bad and on parole. (In Canada she could not have been charged. Children under the age of 12 cannot be charged under our criminal law.)
As McNeil prepares her case little things keep happening such as a file gone missing or another file not being delivered. Paranoia, never far from McNeil’s mind, rises for the prosecutor.
A bored Green finds the highlights of his day are watching school children return home after school and meeting McNeil at her mailbox for a chat.
McNeil’s brother, Johnny, is playing a greater role in her life for which she is grateful. It has been some time since they have been close.
I kept waiting for there to be some significant time in court but it gradually dawned on me that In Plain Sight was less a mystery than a romance novel. I can be slow at detecting a romance novel. Relationships rather than mystery drive the story.
How did I not realize the beautiful young troubled prosecutor and the handsome ambiguous man next door feature prominently in romance novels? I expect it is because so many current mysteries feature the beautiful and the handsome.
Still the author does tackle the presence of violent white supremacists seeking to have their narrow minded intolerance take over America.
After finishing the book I was not surprised to read Quinn is also a writer for Harlequin books. If you enjoy romantic suspense you will enjoy the book.
In the book McNeil does present an image of prosecutors that depresses me. It is clear McNeil has lost perspective on being a prosecutor. She has become an avenger viewing it her responsibility to change and improve society. The problems with being an avenger as a prosecutor are that it moves you beyond your role in the justice system and means a loss of objectivity. It is McNeil’s job to present the evidence and the law and let judges decide if someone is guilty. By being willing to add questionable charges to Hall’s original charge McNeil is perverting the system. As I watch television and read of America’s judicial system I fear too many real life prosecutors are becoming avengers. (Aug. 1/13)
****My connection to this book is to the legal theme and McNeil, a fellow lawyer, though not a woman to uphold the high ideals of prosecutors simply presenting the law and evidence.