Kensington, Sept 2002, 22.00, 342 pp.
Frankie Richmond is a working class London barrister who is very loyal to her friends so when Saskia asks her to represent her in court on a drunk and disorderly charge, she agrees. When the hearing is over, a seedy-looking individual asks Frankie for her client's name and her own but she refuses to tell. When she goes to a local Italian restaurant she spots the same mangy man who was at the court. Angry at being followed, she turns the tables on him by following him by car.
He knocks out her vehicle's rear end forcing Frankie to stop. When she does, he hits her, giving her a black eye. Not long afterward, the police question Frankie in the murder of Kevin Latimer. When they search her apartment they find his credit card and down at the jail they inform her that her car's license plate was on the body. Frankie goes looking for Saskia for some answers but she proves hard to find, but locate her she must if she wants to clear her name and have the charges dropped.
GOOD BAD WOMAN is a funky urban noir crime thriller. The who-done-it is very cleverly constructed and multi-layered with many interconnecting paths. The protagonist is a likable character desperately trying to figure out why she is being framed and who is behind it. Along the way, there are several times she comes close to losing her life, which makes her think that the perpetrator is becoming desperate. Elizabeth Woodcraft is a talented writer who uses humor to defuse tense situations of a strong mystery thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner