The Do-Right

In The Do-Right, by Lisa Sandlin, it’s  1973 in Beaumont, Texas, and Delpha Wade is out of prison after 14 years.  She was in because she killed one of  the men who was raping her. She’d have killed the other one, too, but he got away. doright She’s out now, and all she needs is a quiet room of her own, and a job. Tom Phelan, Vietnam vet and  former roughneck turned private investigator, needs a secretary.  Delpha’s watchful, closed- off manner makes Phelan hesitate, but her sharp intelligence soon makes her indispensable.  Their first cases include a woman who thinks her dog is being poisoned by her neighbors, and a man’s  prosthetic leg being held hostage by squabbling relatives, and while these cases are light-hearted enough, Phelan takes them seriously. A missing boy and a cheating husband are more than they seem, leading Phelan and Delpha into dark, dangerous territory.  All the pieces come together in the end for a white knuckle finish. This novel’s deep, thoughtful characterizations, complex plotting, and expressive prose make it easy to recommend.

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