What is Forensic Instincts? They have formed a private investigation firm of professionals trained in behavioral and forensic psychology who are not bound by the same bureaucratic red tape as the police, FBI, and Special Forces. They can move forward and get things done while law enforcement’s hands are tied. The team has a Behaviorist, a former Navy SEAL, a retired FBI agent; a technological guru; a psychic, and even an evidence dog. Emma is one of the newest members of the team. At one time, she’d been a foster child and knew the hardship endured by many. Upon hearing of the murder of a woman who’d been a foster child, she asks the team if they can dig into and find out who killed her and why.
Lisa Barnes, down on her luck, had been looking for a job. She thinks her luck is about to change as she finds work at Designer Fitness. The owner, Julie Forman, and Lisa have a strong resemblance. Julie immediately bonds with Lisa. Until Lisa can stand on her own financially, Julie offers that she can stay with her for a while. But, Lisa is running from something and soon, it has fatal consequences for Julie. Lisa witnesses Julie get shot down. She grabs any ID that Julie has on her and flees to her techie friend, Milo, who creates an identity for Lisa to become Julie. That also requires moving and creating written communication that she had to leave town suddenly. When law enforcement finds Julie’s body, it is Lisa’s identification they find on her and assume it was Lisa that had been killed.
This story becomes complicated very quickly, but in a good way. The pacing is fast, and it’s remarkably character-driven. I love everyone on the FI team and I really liked Lisa and her friend, Milo. Some aspects of the story were not entirely believable, like asking someone you first meet to move in with you, no matter how temporary you believe the situation would be. Also, I felt the likeness between Lisa and Julie was a bit of a stretch. This is the fifth book in the Forensic Instincts series. They can be read out of order as each one is a complete story on its own. However, the first book, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, is when the FI team came together and I’d recommend starting there. This is an amazing series. My hope is that it will live for many years to come. Rating: 4 out of 5.