Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Hypocrisy by D.M. Annechino


Dr. Lauren Crawford is a brilliant research scientist who discovers a revolutionary treatment for cancer that not only extends life, but much improves the quality of life for terminal cancer patients. The treatment, in some instances, can even cure certain cancers. On the evening before Dr. Crawford is to hold a press conference to announce that the FDA has given preliminary approval of her new cancer treatment, somebody follows her to her car and puts three bullets in her head. Was it a planned murder with a motive, a mugging gone badly, or merely a random act of violence?

Two New York City homicide detectives, Amaris Dupree and T.J. Brown, are assigned to the investigation. The detectives evaluate the circumstances surrounding Dr. Crawford’s death, and follow a trail of clues that exposes a sequence of startling facts. One by one, the detectives carefully examine each suspect and piece together a puzzle with unimaginable implications. As the investigation gets more intense, and the detectives get closer to solving the murder mystery, someone threatens Dupree’s life. The detectives now realize that Dr. Crawford’s murder was much more than a homicide. And if they don’t arrest the murderer soon, Dupree might be the next victim.



Twelve to sixteen years ago, I was working for the Fort Worth Police Department, transcribing reports from officers in the field and taking non-emergency reports from the city's citizens.  So I know being an officer or detective is not all parades and reflective sunglasses.  In "Hypocrisy", D.M. Annechino does a good job of showing the gritty side of working in the streets.

From the short prologue, told from the victim's point-of-view, we learn that Dr. Lauren Conrad's killer is male and he shot her in the head.  This book is not for children (think PG-13).  The moments right before the gun is shot and as the gun is firing is not gory, but peculiarly effective - chilling, even.  (I think I actually shuddered).

Then the book proper starts and we are introduced to Amaris Dupree (love that name!) and T.J. Brown, the detectives assigned to the case, who happen to be the only female and only African-American homicide detectives in that precinct, respectively.  The victim's identity is discovered by tracing her vanity license plates and by visual confirmation with a picture from the internet.  So they know who.

But the why?  There's the rub.  The doctor's mother says her daughter had thought someone had been following her recently and was worried.  But who would want to kill a research scientist close to finding an effective treatment for some cancers?  Was it just a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time?  Was it a robbery gone wrong?  Or, given what they know about Dr. Conrad's job, was someone bent on stealing her research ... or stopping it?

Annechino skillfully weaves together literally dozens of strands of theories for who committed the crime of murder and why into a web that slowly finds and weeds out suspects, closing in on the killer and any accomplices he may have.  Sometimes the web is damaged and a setback occurs - like the threats against Detective Dupree's life.  But like the spiders on my porch, the police's work is not done until the crime is solved.

And the murder is solved, but some of the criminals do not have to answer for their actions - at least not in a court of law.  Two pieces of advice for future readers:  1.  Don't mess with the cats, and 2.  Stay for the epilogue.



Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor specializing in full-length fiction, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, in 1992 while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. His second book Resuscitation (Thomas & Mercer 2011), a follow-up to his first novel, hit #1 in Kindle sales in both the USA and UK. He is also the author of I Do Solemnly Swear (Thomas & Mercer 2012). Hypocrisy, is Annechino’s fourth novel.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.


(Disclaimer:  I received a print copy of "Hypocrisy" from the author and publisher via iRead Book Tours (click the button above) in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was offered, requested or received.)


  1. Thanks for the comprehensive comments and for pointing out many aspects of the book you found favorable. You really made my day! I truly appreciate you taking the time to review Hypocrisy. One FYI: The murdered research scientist's name is Crawford, not Conrad.
    D.M. Annechino

    1. Ohmigosh, how embarrassing! Well, I got it right in the first paragraph. Of course, that was cut and paste. Maybe somebody slipped something in my coffee the night I wrote this up.

  2. Don't feel bad. You should see some of the glaring errors my editor catches!