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Ingrid Thoft Books In Order

Publication Order of Fina Ludlow Books

Loyalty (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Identity (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brutality (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Duplicity (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ingrid Thoft is an American writer best known for the Fina Ludlow series of mystery thrillers. Ingrid was born in Boston Massachusetts and went on to study at Wellesley College, Boston. While she was brought up in northern suburb of Boston, the city played a significant role in Thoft and her family’s life, given that her older sisters schooled there and her parents worked in the city. She has always wanted to be a writer from a very young age and would create her own versions of the New York Times and the Boston Globe, complete with curated illustrations from the home typewriter. As an adult, she wrote in a variety settings some of which include the human resources office at Harvard, an interactive company, and a nonprofit. She has asserted that her parents exposed her to different cultures and hence the family would spend time at concerts, visiting museums, eat at interesting restaurants and seeing the sights of the city. She has always been a voracious reader and cites her early influences as Caroline Keen and Nancy Drew. Drew is a favorite of several generations from her family including her mother, her sisters all the way down to her nieces. Other favorite works that she read during her childhood include the Choose Your Own Adventure books and Encyclopedia Brown series. Together with her husband, she resides in Seattle where she is an active member of the Seattle7Writers. The Seattle7Writers is a group of Northwest authors that seek to foster passion for the written word.

Ingrid’s interest in the life of a private investigator and a desire to create a character that would be believable enough, made her enroll for a certificate program at the University of Washington majoring in private investigation. She had started writing an amateur sleuth series and found it hard to reconcile how the protagonist could stumble over so many bodies before it would become ridiculous. Fina the chief protagonist is a professional private investigator who is an expert in her job. Most of her works combine the elements of the modern heroine with the classic noir. Thoft’s PI is very good with technology. Having gone to private investigations school, the author asserts that while a lot of investigative work still needs perseverance and hard work, a good PI needs to know how to use every technological tool available to solve crime. That being said, human beings remain at the center of the resolution of crime through using their emotions and instincts, and this is what makes Fina so lovable. The novels have a variety of suspects and twists and turns of plot, elements of which Ingrid has learnt from watching and reading a lot of mysteries. While Ingrid Thoft never grew up in the seedy settings that she writes about, she does a lot of research on the people and settings she writes about that makes her an expert. She attributes the local newspapers, real estate listings, and the Internet as some of her most important sources of information for her novels.

Ingrid Thoft’s Fina Ludlow series of novels are about the Ludlow family headed by Carl and his wife Elaine. They have come from nothing to amass huge wealth though years of sacrifice and hard work. Carl is a headstrong and opinionated patriarch though not overly emotional, which leaves Fina in a state of desiring to get out from under his control and pleasing him. Fina has a difficult relationship with her mother given that Elaine is a passive aggressive and manipulative woman, wholly unsuited to the demands of motherhood. Some of this could be blamed on the losing her first child, or it could just be her natural disposition. Their first child Josephine had died very early, and this had hurt Elaine and Carl very deeply. Mathew, Scotty, and Rand Fina’s brothers are ambitious and smart attorneys who work at the family firm. Mathew is a bachelor who believes in the mantra work hard play hard, Scotty is the soft one, while Rand is the difficult one. Scotty is married to Patty a no nonsense and warm woman who is good friends with Fiona. They have three young boys who Fina dotingly loves on. Rand is husband to Melanie a shallow woman given to keeping up with the joneses and shopping. They have one child a troublesome fifteen-year-old named Haley.

In Loyalty, the first novel of the Fina Ludlow series of novels, Ingrid Thoft introduces the hard charging Ludlows and Carl Ludlow the patriarch, who treats his family more like employees than family. Fina Ludlow is the black sheep in the family having dropped out of law school. Nonetheless, Carl her father offers her a job as a private investigator in the family law firm alongside her siblings. She juggles the family’s different personalities composed of cops, attorneys, and Boston’s criminal element with panache. But when her sister in law goes missing, she is suddenly in one of the most complicated cases she has ever handled. Carl is adamant that the police should be kept out of it, but the more Fiona digs, the more she believes that eventually the police would have to be called in. As the Ludlows close ranks, Rand and the troublesome teenager Haley mysteriously start drifting away from the family. As Fina digs up more dirt, the family demands more loyalty, but she is adamant that the truth needs to come out regardless of the consequences.

Identity is the second novel of the Ludlow series. This firecracker of a novel opens to Renata Sanchez a single mother on a quest to find the identity of the sperm donor and father to Rosie, her only daughter. However, with Rosie reticent and a confidentiality agreement in the mix, a weaker willed person would have given up, but not Renata. She is also lucky to have Carl on her side, a man that believes that cases involving sperm donors and cryobanks are the next frontier yet unexplored. Fina quickly finds out the identity of the donor but that is just the beginning of one big mystery, as the donor is found dead within hours of the case being made public. Fina was not prepared for a murder investigation, but she cannot back out now, given that she has had an important role in setting in motion things that may have led to it. Digging even deeper she finds that DNA may just not be the whole story, and that cracking a code can awaken ghosts that no one wants to confront.

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