“A shocking photo screamed from the front pages of the tabloids – the last moments of a life captured for all the world to see. The look of sheer terror eternally frozen on the face of the doomed woman indicated that her fatal fall from an upper story of an unfinished Seattle skyscraper was no desperate suicide – and that look will forever haunt Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont. But his hunt for answers and justice is leading to more death, and to dark and terrible secrets scrupulously guarded by men of steel behind the locked doors of a powerful union that extracts its dues payments in blood.”
-Synopsis from back of the book
*light spoilers below*
A More Perfect Union is book six in the J.P. Beaumont series. The story starts with Beau on the set of a movie being filmed in Seattle, at which he has been assigned to work as a consultant. He is about ready to leave the film set altogether because no one on the production has been taking his advice, when a body is discovered in the water.
The scene mentioned in the synopsis, in which a photograph of a woman falling off a skyscraper appears in the newspaper, does not occur for several chapters. By that point Beau is already investigating the death of the man whose body washed ashore during filming, who turns out to be a member of the Iron Workers Local union.
The iron workers union is not all that it seems, and Beau has many pieces of the puzzle to fit together in order to get down to the truth, but the biggest obstacle for him is that he isn’t even assigned to this case. That in and of itself because a major issue in the story, which led to lots of miscommunication that was both irritating and funny.
I really enjoyed this book because it was fast-paced, Beau is such a likable character, and I just love the whole vibe of the series. But I have to say the plot on this one in particular got away from me more than once. Being unfamiliar with unions, construction work, metalwork/ironwork and the like, a lot of the details were lost on me.
What I loved the most is how much Beau grows as a character. I know that I have said that about previous books in the series but it was more noticeable in this one. Professionally, he has to come to terms with his reputation as a playboy cop and decide if he wants to live with the gossip surrounding him everywhere he goes, or if he actually wants to change his image.
Personally, he has to finally acknowledge that his drinking is out of control, as pointed out by his lawyer Ralph Ames. Beau finally accepts that he has reached a point in both his career and personal life in which changes might have to be made, foreshadowing (I hope) what is to come in future books.
As always, I loved getting to see Ron Peters and his two young daughters, Heather and Tracie. The subplots with them are such great comic relief and I love to see what they are up to.
I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Dismissed With Prejudice, soon.