Notorious by Michele Martinez

I was a bit hesitant to read this crime novel for fear of utilizing my late evening hours unwisely. I could spend an hour in front of the television watching Law & Order and get my fill of mystery and suspense after a long day of work, kids, husband, and life. An hour of no thought and effortless entertainment in which the good guys won, the bad guys went to jail, and I rested, not lifting a muscle. Or I could spend several hours reading Notorious, Michele Martinez’ fourth episode on the crime fighting life of Melanie Vargas in search of justice, personal fulfillment, and providing a positive role model for her daughter, Maya. Several hours of exercising the reading muscles and actual thinking, time that could be utilized to work on my own writing, get that next house chore off the To Do list, or do research on business development. Hmm, what to do?

Not an easy decision, though in an effort to wean off television and employ my time in a positive, enriching, and thought provoking manner, I quickly picked up the novel and began easily reading. By the first chapter I was immediately captivated and intrigued by Melanie’s murder case, her romantic struggles, and the juggle of career and parenting. It became an enjoyable read that kept my interest with its fast pace, diverse characters, and intense drama, forcing me to image and create the scenes, the music, and the feel. It was definitely worth the time, but then again, reading always is.  The only wish I have is that of a Latina protagonist that is not only a positive role model, a career success, a devoted parent, but also one that is in a healthy and strong relationship.


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