Going to the Bad by Nora McFarland is the third book in the “Lilly Hawkins” mystery series. Publisher: Touchstone, August 2012

Newshound Lilly Hawkins is back, and this time the story she’s chasing is her own.

Working as a TV news photographer at her hometown television station, Lilly has documented Bakersfield’s most violent crimes and tragic accidents. To stay sane and avoid burnout, she’s developed a wicked sense of humor and a very thick skin. For her, a vicious shooting is just another day on the job. But what if the victim is someone she loves?

Thrown off balance by the brutal attack on her uncle Bud in her own home, Lilly decides to handle the tragedy the only way she knows how. Using all her TV station’s resources and her own considerable skills, Lilly dives headlong into the investigation.

But even with the assistance of her well-meaning but eccentric coworkers, this story may prove her last. Because as Lilly untangles a history of her uncle’s misdeeds and betrayals, a clever killer is preparing to strike again. Can she break the story in time to prevent another murder, or will Lilly be the next victim?

When Lilly’s uncle Bud is wounded and fearing the worse, Lilly is determined to find the person responsible even if it means opening up Pandora’s box into a past best forgotten. Wow! What a great read. The fast-pace and non-stop action in this suspenseful drama kept me riveted to the pages as I could not put this book down. The tone of the story aligned with the mystery as a Lilly delves deeper into this investigation even in the face of danger. Lilly is such a strong, confident and brassy character, you can’t help but root for her as she narrows in on her target with surprising discovery. This story boasts a wonderfully crafted plot; a likable, yet quirky cast; and great banter tinged with humorous anecdotes; and is by far the best book in this adrenaline-charged series and I sure hope it’s not the last we hear from Lilly.

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