The Accidental Diva by Tia Williams which was a few years ago. While I was getting my flight from Atlanta to New York I came across Snapped by Tracy Brown in the bookstore. I have never heard of the author but a quick read of the synopsis and the first chapter had me riveted so I bought it. I read the book in a few days ( mostly when I was travelling around New York on the subway) and it was everything I hoped it would be; compelling, intriguing and a lot of fun. Snapped is about four female friends who inhabit New York City who are very different but all have a driving ambition to attain the perfect life. There is Camille Bingham, a former model who is married to the powerful Frankie Bingham and lives a life of luxury and opulence. Waited on hand and foot, she does not have a single care in the world however her perfect life is threatened when Frankie starts getting closer to another woman. Misa is Camille's sister and is as sassy as they come. A recent divorcee and a single mother means that Misa cannot afford the same lifestyle as her big sister but will stop at nothing to get it. Then there is Latoya who is a sharp mouthed lady with all the answers in life. The last thing on her mind is finding Mr Right and she believes that the only way for woman to survive is to concentrate on her career and keep her feelings in check. Dominique is also a single mother of a teenage daughter but despite this she has carved out a successful career for herself as a music exec. The only downside is her love life which is a bit of a mess as her boyfriend is serving a prison sentence for dealing in drugs.
Aside from the four ladies there are other minor characters who feature in the book. They are all very well developed and you can easily relate to them whether they are good or bad. This is one of Tracy Brown's strengths, creating strong characters and presenting them well. My only criticism is that there are too many minor characters who we did not really get to know. Snapped gives us a great insight into the criminal underworld and the people who are involved in organised crime such as drugs and fraud. A quick browse through amazon tells me that all of the author's books are about the crime world so it makes me wonder if that is a scene that she is familiar with after all the first rule of fiction is that you write about what you know. It looks like we have another Martina Cole on our hands. Snapped is a really gripping book that kept me hooked and wanting more, I really had no idea what was going to happen next and the book combines romance and intrigue seamlessly. Unfortunately I was not happy about the ending; there were too many loose ends left and the shock ending came out of nowhere. It was like the publisher had just yanked the two last chapters from the book and left us with a botched ending. It was really sad because up till then it had the makings of a great novel and one of the best I have ever read. Shame about the anti-climax.
NB: Ok I have done some digging around and there is a sequel being released next month. It is called Aftermath and picks up where Snapped left. Phew!! I cannot wait to read it.