The gritty and hard-edged debut novel takes place primarily on a college campus. It has a quartet of interesting, smart and straightforward women, and although this book centers primarily on just one, it's the first of a proposed series, so look for the other three to get their stories.
After a late night of drinking, four women who work in the Rhode Island attorney general's office witness a student from nearby Holton College being thrown from a moving vehicle. Since they don't report it right away, assistant attorney general Marianna Melone takes the fall and is suspended. When she's offered a job at the college as the assistant dean of student ethics, she accepts so she can secretly investigate the murder.
Marianne feels alone except for the chief of security, ex-cop Mike McCoy, whom she can't decide if she should trust. But he's the only thing standing between her and a murderer. (DELL, Oct., 432 pp., $6.99)