Summary: When Lydia Blackwell visits her dying father for the last time, he reveals the deeply hidden truth about her mother. After the funeral, the stranger Derek Meade gifts her with a gorgeous antique purse. But before she has the chance to connect with the man who knew her father intimately, Lydia finds Derek murdered in his home.
Lieutenant Sonja MacIntosh is assigned to investigate Mr. Meade’s death, but her career on the force never prepared her for Lydia Blackwell. As Sonja works to solve the murder, Lydia takes the greatest risk of her life in leaving Chicago to search for clues to her mother’s past. Their instant attraction surprises them both, but even through the chaos Lydia can’t deny the intensity of her feelings for the strong willed Lieutenant.
Lydia’s possession of the antique purse throws her already chaotic life into a whirlwind of kidnapping, blackmail, vengeful mob bosses, and mind-numbing revelations. Through it all, Lydia must find the strength to accept herself – and those closest to her – despite their darkest secrets.
My thoughts: From the start of this novel you’ll be sucked into a whirlwind of action, romance, and mystery that won’t ever waver until you finish the book. The Purse is a story full of diverse characters representing different sexualities which was a breath of fresh air to read about. It follows the journey of a lady named Lydia who is slowly finding out about her secret family history with the help of a woman who she begins to develop feelings for, named Sonja. Both of them go through troubling situations throughout the entire story and must try their hardest to find out the secrets of Lydia’s life that has remained hidden from her for so many years.
This quick read was entertaining, especially if you’re a lover of crime novels that have to do with the mafia. There is never a dull moment in this book, and just when you think the action is over, another problem arises and sweeps you off your feet to another adventure that Lydia must go on. In a way, that aspect got tiresome for me because the book could have wrapped up simply at around page 200, but instead a new problem arose yet again which added a somewhat filler portion of the rest of the 300-something page novel. I wish it was more compact, but if you are a sucker for details, then you’d definitely love this aspect.
And the romance is very prevalent in this story as well and was well represented. It takes hold of much of the plot and I would have adored it if it didn’t feel so insta-love-y. The romance felt too fast paced for me and I wished it was slowed down enough for me to feel it growing between the characters instead of them confessing their love not even half way through the story. But overall, Julie A. Burns is a fantastic writer who knows how to grip a reader’s attention for the entire story. She pulls us right into the action and takes you on a wild ride of a story with ups and downs that you’ll never see coming. If you’re a fan of crime novels with a heavy dose of mystery, this story is the one for you!