WINNER OF PWA's SHAMUS AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL!
A trial consultant in Tucson, Arizona, Calla Gentry devotes her time and energy to victims in civil cases rather than criminal trials. The rape and near murder of her sister, Amaryllis, has done much more than affect Calla's career; she hides behind locked doors and jumps at shadows, a veritable victim by proxy after Amaryllis is left in a coma following a failed suicide attempt.
When Calla is assigned against her will to the trial of Raymond Cates, a wealthy landowner's son accused of rape and first degree murder, she cannot help but note the parallels between the crime he stands accused of and her sister's assault. Determined to uncover the truth, Calla begins an investigation of Cates and the events of that fateful night. But things are seldom what they seem--and Calla's investigation leads her to buried lies and a whole new world of violent rage.
Now available in paperback!
Read the prologue and first chapter.
Order the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or an independent bookstore.
Hardcover, Mysterious Press, June 2005, ISBN: 0-8929-6009-4
Paperback, Warner Books, April 2006, ISBN: 0-4466-1502-1
for FORCING AMARYLLIS
"Ure's debut so compellingly evokes the hot, dry Southwest, readers may want to have an icy-cold glass of water nearby while reading it.... Ure, a Tucson native, clearly adores the city, and she brilliantly depicts its landscape, citizenry, and culture. This could be the start of a very special series."
Booklist (starred review)
"Arid Southwestern surroundings, strong focus, and entrancing prose makes this original first novel a sure winner."
Library Journal (starred review)
"A warm first-person narrative and a confident tone ... Fascinating passages about jury selection set Ure's debut apart."
"Ure's first novel offers a surprisingly tender tale of sisterly vengeance. Exciting action."
"It's the kind of book which, during a hiatus for dinner, makes you impatient to get back to it, even if the dinner is wonderful. It's a tale that takes up residence in your psyche like a succubus, leeching your attention away from everything else. Ure's debut novel (to use a relevant Arizona metaphor) coils in the mind like a waiting rattlesnake."
Robert Mayer, Santa Fe New Mexican
"FORCING AMARYLLIS is an assured first novel and I'm expecting to hear it nominated for best first novel come the awards season."
OverMyDeadBody.com (read the full review)
"FORCING AMARYLLIS is an extremely engaging, polished first novel by a talented newcomer. I predict that Louise Ure, and hopefully Calla Gentry, will be around for a long time."
Patti Biringer, Mystery Scene Magazine
"Ure's writing is smooth, and the sense of setting is divine, evoking the heat and beauty of the southwestern US. The cast of supporting characters is interesting and fun, from the friend whose restaurant serves daily menus with all the foods beginning with the same letter, to the cranky, unsympathetic boss. Calla herself is likable, although her sometimes rash and naive actions made her seem not as intelligent as I had been led to believe early on in the book. Ure has written a promising first novel, and I hope she finds many fans for her garden of characters."
Judy Clemens, Crimespree Magazine
""Rousing debut ... Ure proves herself to be a fresh voice in the genre... FORCING AMARYLLIS ushers in an exciting new author in mystery fiction."
Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"FORCING AMARYLLIS is an awesome legal thriller that showcases how the rich can afford a high priced specialized defense team (think of the OJ case) as specialists like Strike, Gentry, and a DNA expert are not cheap; attorneys are not enough. The story line digs deep into what goes on behind the scenes of a defense team while also following Calla's amateur sleuth investigation. Reminiscent of Rankin Fitch's squad in RUNAWAY JURY, FORCING AMARYLLIS is a fabulous look at the cost of American justice that like most things can be bought."
Harriet Klausner, TheBestReviews.com
"Louise Ure is that rare and unusual author who knows exactly what is required in the construction of a mystery story, and her first novel is a prize. It's difficult to think that Ms. Ure can get any better, but we'll look forward to the day when she'll most certainly win all the major mystery awards. She deserves them all."
"FORCING AMARYLLIS provides a new slant on courtroom mysteries. Louise Ure pulls back the curtain on jury consulting: the combination of psychology and marketing that has fascinated the nation in major courtroom battles since the O.J. Simpson trial. The atmosphere of the Southwest is almost a character in this richly drawn novel, from the descriptions of the heat to the food and the landscape. FORCING AMARYLLIS marks the debut of a sensational new talent."
"As her debut novel, FORCING AMARYLLIS has many key ingredients for success: interesting plot, engaging characters, and lots of suspense. Ure even uses lots of wit and dry humor, which always score points with me. The self-deprecation of the main character just makes her that much more believable and likable. I look forward to reading her next mystery!"
"I feel this is one of the best books I've read this year and would certainly highly recommend it."
"I loved the heroine, and enjoyed the suspense, the surprise and the thrilling ending as Calla was in turn called 'Sweet Thing' by a killer. I hope that Louise Ure brings Calla Gentry back for an encore."
"There's a terrific debut waiting for you in Louise Ure's FORCING AMARYLLIS. Tucson trial consultant Calla Gentry is forced to work on the criminal case of a wealthy landowner's son when similarities to her sister's rape and attempted murder are too much of a coincidence. Rage, recovery and action bring this plot to a boil."
"Louise Ure demonstrates great potential in FORCING AMARYLLIS. Calla Gentry supplies us with a different take on the courtroom scenes so aptly described by other authors: a wanted and most desirable viewpoint indeed. In addition, Ms. Ure not only knows how to structure a mystery, but writes it well and maintains our interest throughout. Louise Ure may be warmly welcomed into the ranks of new mystery writers."
"A worthwhile debut ... Page-turning suspense culminates in a nail-biting finish."
Fran Wood, New Jersey's The Star Ledger
"Full of touching and frightening surprises. The link to flowers is set up on the opening page by instructions on a garden tag ("To force amaryllis, place bulb in a cool, dark place"), and is reinforced by the ways lovely, gentle things can be so easily destroyed."
Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune
"...an enjoyable read. Louise Ure clearly has more stories to tell and it looks as though she could become a powerful new voice in mystery literature."
Luke Croll, ReviewingTheEvidence.com
"Louise Ure's FORCING AMARYLLIS is an impressive and original debut novel.... Louise Ure is a true original who has provided us with an eye-opener on the criminal justice system. If I am sitting in the judge's chair (and I'm sitting in a chair at the moment), my verdict has to be that this is a debut novel that has provided convincing evidence of the flowering of a new talent on the mystery scene. Case proved!"
Paul Kane, NewMysteryReader.com
"Every once in a while, a writer's debut makes you re-think the judicial system you believe exists. In FORCING AMARYLLIS, Louise Ure does just that. A wounded, winning protagonist, Calla Gentry specializes in jury consulting for civil cases, but is dragooned by her financially strapped boss to participate in a troubling prosecution involving rape and murder. A serious candidate for all Best First Mystery awards."
Jeremiah Healy, author of The Only Good Lawyer and Invasion of Privacy
"Calla Gentry is the best kind of main character--someone who has to overcome her own personal traumas to seek justice for someone else. She makes this book all the more compelling, suspenseful, and ultimately satisfying when she prevails. Louise Ure has a real winner here, as good a first novel as I've read all year."
Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award Winning Author of Ice Run
"What a wonderful new voice! Louise Ure combines grit, guts, tension, compassion and wry humor to make a gripping story with unforgettable characters. Every image is so sharp and precise, she must have written this with the edge of a knife. "
Gillian Roberts, author of Till the End of Tom
"An outstanding debut! Louise Ure's talent shines through from the first page in this rich and vibrant novel, and her sleuth, Calla Gentry, is a wonderful and empathetic addition to the mystery world."
Robin Burcell, Anthony Award Winning Author of Cold Case
"Louise Ure paints the landscape of the Southwest - from the dirt roads and saguaro cactus to her vulnerable down-to-earth heroine, Calla, with a masterful, fine brush. Gripping."
Cara Black, author of Murder in the Bastille
"Louise Ure comes out of the gate with a terrific first novel. Calla Gentry is a richly developed, compassionate, funny, truly likeable heroine who carries the reader from one gut-gripping page to the next."
Alafair Burke, author of Missing Justice
"Arizona heat pales next to Calla Gentry's sizzling pursuit of her sister's rapist."
Elaine Flinn, Anthony, Agatha, Barry and Gumshoe nominee for Dealing in Murder
"The last time I was so excited about a first-time mystery writer, I was reading Jonathon King's The Blue Edge of Midnight, which went on to win the Edgar Award for best first novel. FORCING AMARYLLIS by Louise Ure is a powerful novel, with a fascinating protagonist. Give Calla a chance. In my opinion, FORCING AMARYLLIS by Louise Ure deserves to be nominated for this year's Edgar for best first mystery.
Lesa Holstine, Nikkis World Blog
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