By Ekta R. Garg
April 8, 2020
Genre: Mainstream fiction
Release date: April 7, 2020
Rated: Bookmark it! / 4 stars
A woman must force herself to remain professional when she’s hired by a former lover for a job. The more she investigates, however, the hard she finds it to keep her personal life out of the investigation. Author Mindy Mejia delves into the fascinating world of forensic accounting and pairs it with the sporting world in her excellent new release Strike Me Down.
Nora Trier has spent the last fifteen years of her life hiding in plain sight in downtown Minneapolis. Not because she’s in some witness protection program or because she’s running from the law. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a forensic accountant, Nora counts on her nondescript appearance to get people to open up to her even as she’s scouring their finances for fraud and theft.
When Gregg Abbott of Strike, Inc., walks through the doors of the firm where she works, though, Nora feels like she’s in the spotlight. Strike co-founder Gregg wants the firm to investigate a major theft, but all Nora can think about is the chance encounter that brought the two of them together during an extended layover. Now the man she thought was a one-night stand is in her office and asking for help.
Gregg is the marketing brains behind Strike, a premier kickboxing franchise. He formed the company with his wife, Logan. She’s the face, the kickboxing champion dozens of times over. Gregg is the man who groomed Strike into something bigger than anyone could have imagined. Now Strike is ready to launch its week-long kickboxing tournament called Strike Down. The only problem is that the $20 million in prize money has been stolen. If it isn’t found before the end of the tournament, Gregg and Logan will be ruined and Strike will collapse.
Nora throws herself into the case headlong. She’s been attending Strike’s classes in their downtown gym on her lunch hour and is mesmerized by Logan. If Nora is honest with herself, she’d give anything to be like her. She knows she can’t let Logan and Strike down.
None of the typical investigative tracks work, though. The more information Nora and her associates find, the more questions it brings forth. Nora keeps feeling like she’s missing something, like if she just concentrated on the case like she does on the punching bag she’d be able to put all the pieces together. The more she finds out, however, the more dangerous the entire scenario becomes.
Author Mindy Mejia shares with readers the little-explored area of forensic accounting and builds Nora’s character out of a need for keeping everything orderly. Mejia gives Nora a compelling back story that keeps the protagonist at arm’s length from everyone. This forces Nora to face her fears and the other characters time and time again as the investigation into Strike’s finances gets deeper and more dangerous.
While readers may not naturally draw a line from accounting to kickboxing, in this book the two offer direct contrasts that heighten the dramatic impact of the story. Accounting’s dispassionate, practical methods butt heads with kickboxing’s emotional, melodramatic approaches. Likewise, Nora maintains her cool in the early part of the book while Logan leaps off the pages as larger than life.
Mejia offers readers fully developed characters, including the minor ones. Gregg’s assistant Sara and Nora’s best friend, Corbett, in particular, round out the story. And Logan and Gregg act as the perfect foils to Nora’s intentions. Every time she tries to get a straight answer, both of them push back. Readers will thoroughly enjoy the conflict down to the last line of the novel.
For those looking for a compelling story with fresh faces and ideas, I recommend readers Bookmark Strike Me Down.