★★★★ Private Investigator Jake Bodine lands a big case when Maggie O’Brian, a seductive millionaire, walks into his office. Maggie’s husband Finn was murdered in their mansion. While Maggie insists on her innocence, the Florida Police think otherwise, and Maggie needs Jake to help clear her name. However, as Jake uncovers information about Maggie’s past and Finn’s business dealings, it becomes clear that the hunt for the true killer won’t be easy. The investigation forces Jake to travel all the way to Ireland, where Finn’s massive dairy company is based. While in Ireland, Jake gets closer to learning the killer’s identity while also falling deeply in love in with a beautiful Irishwoman, Siobhán. Jake’s personal and professional life intertwine as Siobhán stays by his side throughout the investigation, and great danger surrounds the couple as they come face to face with the murderer.
The second book in Dempsey’s Jake Bodine series, The Widow O’Brian is full of suspense and romance. Like a James Bond storyline, many attractive women pop up throughout the book desiring Jake’s attention. For instance, prior to meeting and falling for Siobhán, Jake has a short, steamy fling with Maggie. Amidst the exciting chase to catch Finn’s killer, there is an overabundance of attraction and lust. While a few scenes in the book might feel unduly over-the-top within a different mystery novel, Dempsey makes them work for his own sensational crime story. Set in the year 1986, Jake’s investigative strategy doesn’t rely on the help of smartphones or other modern technology, which is part of The Widow O’Brian’s charm. Instead, Jake is an old-school detective putting in the hard work to follow the clues—wherever they may lead.