“A convict takes over her identical twin sister’s life in New Orleans, only to arouse the suspicions of a clever, intuitive detective in Zappa’s debut thriller … an energetic tale with wonderfully complex characters; Veronica isn’t a one-note villain; she’s a sociopath who doesn’t experience a normal range of emotion … Crowder isn’t a squeaky clean hero … A grim and engrossing procedural with a stellar cast “— Kirkus Reviews
“The role of genetics in antisocial personality disorder is explored in this utterly spellbinding crime drama/thriller by Richard Zappa. Identical Misfortune chronicles the musings and exploits of a calculating sociopath as she schemes and kills her way into the life she has always wanted, and the homicide detective who might be the only one who can stop her … From the compelling plot and the writing to the dialogue to the impressive character development, everything was top notch. The prologue was as shockingly captivating as it was memorable, setting the tone for what was to come without giving anything away. The nail-biting suspense only served to enhance the quality of the plot structure … Identical Misfortune was a well-imagined and outstanding work of fiction worthy of the maximum rating of 4 out of 4 stars.” — Online Book Club
“Veronica Westbrook is a psychopathic con artist, who thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she discovers that she has a very wealthy identical twin, separated from her at birth. She hatches a diabolical plan to kill her and take over her life. But a brilliant, tough-as-nails detective is on the case—can she bring Veronica to justice?
“Identical Misfortune has its action scenes, no lack of them, but it is primarily a duel of wits between two brilliant women—a con artist and a cop. Veronica’s plot is carefully planned in detail, an intricate and well-thought-out con, which only makes it more enjoyable to watch Detective Crowder unravel it bit by bit. The story begins before the main plot gets started, introducing us carefully to Veronica’s character and nature through her involvement in a couple of other cons both in and out of jail. Crowder, too, has her personality and abilities shown to the reader before the case really gets started, so we are well set up to watch their characters duel with full knowledge of their skills and motivations.
“The plot has plenty of action to fuel it, and even if a lot of that action takes place within the characters’ minds and discussions, it still involves sufficient suspense and emotional tension to keep the reader involved. The clues that allow Det. Crowder to unravel the case show up naturally, not through unbelievable carelessness on Veronica’s part but through solid detective work, reasonable levels of chance and luck, and an unwillingness to accept the easy answers even when that would be most convenient … the duel of wits at the heart of the book is a lively, energetic, and intelligent one, and readers who enjoy watching a clever cop piece together a plot laid for them by an equally-clever criminal will find this book a pleasant diversion.
“IR Verdict: Identical Misfortune is a suspenseful battle of wits between a tough, dedicated cop and a brilliant, but psychopathic, con artist, that balances cerebral puzzle-solving with vigorous action.” — Indie Reader
Richard Zappa is a trial lawyer turned novelist. A graduate of the Washington College of Law of the American University in Washington, DC, he was an editor of the Law Review and Dean’s Fellow to Adjunct Professor of Law and former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Arthur Goldberg. During the course of a distinguished career as a top personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer, he has litigated and tried numerous cases in state and federal courts, many of which resulted in multimillion-dollar recoveries for his clients. He retired in 2018 to write novels full time. A black-belt martial artist and self-taught pianist, he writes from his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.