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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Edge of Evil by J.A. Jance (Ali Reynolds #1)

My friend Tess read this and having similar tastes, passed along the recommendation.  This is also my first time reading J.A. Jance, so a new-to me author.  Read as an audio book. 

Let's start with our heroine, Alison Reynolds. The story begins with her getting canned from her TV anchor position because at 40, she's now over the hill, despite the fact that she is younger than her male counterparts.  Nothing new there in TV land.  Alison's husband just happens to be the Network Bigwig, and wants her to brush the incident under the carpet and move on but she's lawyer-ing up to fight it.  In the same night Ali learns her best friend - whom she hasn't seen in over two years, has gone missing.

Over the next week, her friend goes from missing to dead by suicide, she finds out her Husband has two mistresses on the side - one of them Ali's Personal Assistant.  Lawyers contacted, beloved college-age son at her side, she heads off to Arizona for her friend's funeral.  Where, we find out her parents want to sell the family cafe and her father breaks multiple bones in a snowboarding accident.  We are introduced to the future love interest, where of course they despise each other at first sight.

In all this we have the Perfect Son, who upon finding out his mother was canned, sets up a blog for her which immediately generates a huge audience, he drives her from California to Arizona, stays at the hospital with her Father, and he always tells the truth.  

Plotwise, I kept finding inconsistencies; for example,
  • Ali has dinner with her Mother, Edie, and her mother declares at 8pm that it's time for her to go home and get to bed.  A short while later Ali gets a call from her son that he's at the hospital with her Father.  Off to the hospital she goes, and Father is in surgery when she gets there.  After a while, Ali and son go out to get dinner (at 10p-11 at night?) from a KFC.  Ali drops son back off at the hospital, and decides to head over to her dead friend's house with a bucket of chicken for all the mourners who'll be with her friend's Husband.  It's now 11p+ at night, the house is dark, except for a porch light. There are no mourners, no extra cars in the driveway.  So she decides to go knock on the door and confront him, even though she hasn't seen him in over two years. Right....
  • The police were treating Reni's death as a suicide because they found a typed note.  In a car I could have sworn blew up as it plunged over a cliff in a snowstorm. 
  • Ali, a former journalist, starts blogging.  I found her posts waayyy to personal for someone who has worked in media. It's only after posting for over a week that she decides that she needs to protect the innocent and to use fake names and or alias's - now that everyone knows who-who is.  And then to discover that Oh!  There are scary people on the internet!  Hel-lo!  Ali was a journalist!  
 And there were others.

But, IF you can put aside the inconsistencies prevalent throughout the story, it's a mindless enough read, especially for a commute or road trip.  If you are expecting something more solidly written, perhaps pass.

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