Nichols cleverly combines the first-person narrative of chick lit, complete with the anxious inner monologue of a post-traumatic-stressed female, with third-person narrative and a murder mystery that rivals any good thriller. Details of an odd occupation and an unlikely physical chemistry are fascinating and move the story forward nicely while effectively growing the main character. A promiscuous male character, uptight government officials and a crooked wealthy family enhance the humor and entertainment value.
A recent accident victim, Brigid Ashbury is now afraid of cars. But when a rich CEO's daughter is found dead in her submerged car, the FBI summons her personally for her work as an accident reconstructionist. Her interest is piqued. She begins unraveling clues and getting close to the truth, which lands her in life-or-death situations. The investigation comes down to the wire, and Brigid desperately hopes she can back away from the sleuthing and concentrate on doing her "thing" before it's too late. (Red Dress Ink, Aug., 304 pp., $13.95)