by Kathleen Valenti
There are exceptions, but generally I love it when a mystery begins with action or intrigue. Protocol, Kathleen Valenti’s debut novel, fits in that category. If you think a novel about the pharmaceutical industry sounds stuffy or boring, think again.
Maggie O’Maley is excited to be starting a new chapter in her life in her first job as a researcher at Rxcellance Pharmaceutical. Socially insecure and intellectually astute, she requires income to support not only herself, but also her aunt and father whose restaurant is undergoing hard times. Unfortunately she gets caught up in a world of violence beginning with appointment reminders she receives on her previously owned cell phone that was not properly wiped of information. Her world spirals out of control as she tries to make good choices for her job and to keep herself alive. A subplot that ties into the main mystery puts her long time best friend Constantine up against Ethan, a new love interest from the research facility.
Protocol is a page turner with lots of suspense and twists. Maggie is a likable character, and I look forward to reading more of her adventures in Kathleen Valenti’s next novel.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #1 in the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series
Publication: September 5, 2017—Henery Press
She imagined furtive glances by coworkers, conversations that stopped as soon as she approached and whispers around the water cooler as innuendo oozed under doors and around cubicle walls.
Maggie fumbled in her pocket and put two quarters into the machine. She punched the combination of keys that would spring Snap, Crackle, and Pop from their coiled prison.
The smell of antiseptic, so familiar, so clean, now seemed deceitful, designed to conceal the smell of putrefaction.