Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Give Jance Another Chance? Opinions, Please ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When television anchorwoman Alison Reynolds is fired from her job, she's livid. Especially since her only crime is being over 40 in an industry where youthful good looks count way, way more than talent. Venting to her producer husband gets her no sympathy. In fact, it convinces her of a truth she's been shying away from for years: her marriage is over. To add insult to injury, Ali learns that her best friend from childhood has died in a mysterious car accident. Realizing how few reasons she has to stay in California, Ali heads to her hometown of Sedona, Arizona, to lick her wounds and grieve for her friend.

With nothing else to occupy her time, Ali pitches in at her parents' cafe and keeps up with the blog she's started to chronicle her journey from television news star to ... well, waitress. In the meantime, she's mulling over the details of Reenie Bernard's death. Unlike most people in town, Ali doesn't believe her friend was suicidal, even though she had reason to be. But the alternative is even more unbelievable - who would murder Reenie, a kind, altruistic mother of two young children? Ali has no idea. Not that that's going to stop her. She's spent her career asking questions, pulling answers out of reticent subjects. It's a skill that's going to come in handy as Ali launches an unofficial investigation into her friend's death. And one that will, quite likely, get her killed in the process.

Lots of people love J.A. Jance and since she's a local author who writes books set in Arizona, I thought I should give her a try. Only, I kind of wish I hadn't. It's possible Edge of Evil, the first novel in the author's Ali Reynolds series, was just the wrong book for me, but I had a hard time getting past the stereotypical characters, the predictable storyline, the unrealistic plot twists and the stale writing. All of those things turned me off of this much-lauded Arizona author. Maybe I'm being too critical (who, me?) - what do y'all think? Should I give Jance another chance? Convince me and I will. Otherwise, it ain't gonna happen.

(Readalikes: Reminded me a little of Mary Higgins Clark's books)

Grade: C-

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for language (no F-bombs) and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find

1 comment:

  1. Opinions on books are as varied as moods. You never know when a book rubbed you the wrong way because it was a romance when you wanted an action. Or maybe you've just read too many books lately and what you really need is a walk in the park. Or maybe the author had a really bad year.

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