Sunday, November 20, 2011
Blog Tour: Promissory Payback and Unrevealed by Laurel Dewey
Laurel Dewey’s Detective Jane Perry is quickly becoming one of the most distinctive, dynamic, and unforgettable characters in suspense fiction today. She’s rock hard, but capable of extraordinary tenderness. She’s a brilliant cop, but she’s capable of making life-altering mistakes. She’s uncannily talented, and she’s heartbreakingly human.
In PROMISSORY PAYBACK Jane is called in to investigate the gruesome murder of a woman who profited greatly from the misfortunes of others. The case leaves Jane with little question about motive...and with a seemingly endless number of suspects.
In UNREVEALED, Dewey gives us four indelible portraits of Jane Perry:
ANONYMOUS: One of Jane's first AA meetings leads her to an encounter with a woman in need of her detection skills...and a secret she never expected to uncover.
YOU CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER: Forced by her boss to speak at a high school career day, Jane meets a troubled boy and finds that his story is only the beginning of a much more revealing tale.
YOU'RE ONLY AS SICK AS YOUR SECRETS: An early-morning homicide call introduces Jane to a mystery as layered as it is unsuspected.
THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM: Jane finds herself sharing a 2:00 am conversation at a downtown bar with an old acquaintance. Will the bloody night that proceeded this moment complicate Jane's intentions?
Laurel Dewey was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is the author of two nonfiction books on plant medicine, a Silver Spur-nominated Western novella, hundreds of articles, the Jane Perry novels, PROTECTOR, REDEMPTION, and REVELATIONS, and the Jane Perry novelette, AN UNFINISHED DEATH. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, where she is currently working on a standalone novel.
From PROMISSORY PAYBACK:
Detective Jane Perry took another hard drag on her cigarette. She knew she needed to quiet her nerves for what she was about to see.
Another victim. Another senseless, gruesome murder that she would add to the board at Denver Headquarters. When Sergeant Weyler called her half an hour ago, she hadn’t even finished her third cup of coffee. “This one is odd, Jane,” he told her with that characteristic tone in his voice that also suggested an evil tinge behind the slaying du jour. “Be prepared,” he said before hanging up. It was a helluva way to start a Monday morning.
As Jane drove her ’66 Mustang toward the crime scene in the toney section of Denver known as Cherry Creek, she tried to look on the bright side. If she’d still been a drinker, she’d be battling an epic hangover at that moment and doing her best to hide it from Weyler. But since becoming a friend of Bill W., her addictions involved healthier options such as jogging, buying way too many pounds of expensive coffee and even briefly joining a yoga group. She stopped attending the class only because the pansy-ass male instructor wasn’t comfortable with her setting her Glock in the holster to the side of her mat during class. Since she was usually headed to work after the 7 AM stretch session, Jane was obviously carrying her service weapon. She wasn’t about to leave it in her car or a locker at the facility. Nor would she be so careless as to hang it on one of the eco-friendly bamboo hooks that lined the yoga room.
So for Jane, it was obvious and more than natural for the Glock to lie next to her as she attempted the Salutation to the Sun pose and arched into Downward Facing Dog. In her mind, there was no dichotomy between the peacefulness of yoga and the brain splattering capacity of her Glock. As the annoying, high-pitched flute music played in the background—a sound meant to encourage calmness but which sounded more like a dying parakeet to Jane—she felt completely safe knowing that a loaded gun was inches from her grasp. The other people in the class, however, did have a problem and they showed it by arranging their mats as far from Jane as humanly possible. None of this behavior bothered Jane until the soy milk-chugging teacher took her aside and asked her to please remove the Glock from class. Since Jane wasn’t about to take orders from a guy in a fuchsia leotard who had a penchant for crying at least twice during class, she strapped her 9mm across her organic cotton yoga t! op and quit.
That’s what predictably happened whenever you shoved a square peg like Jane Perry in a round hole of people and situations that don’t understand the real world. Crime has a nasty habit of worming its way into the most unlikely places—churches, schools, sacred retreats and possibly yoga studios. The way Jane Perry looked at life, yoga might keep your flexible but a loaded gun kept you alive so you could continue being flexible. She knew what it felt like to be the victim of circumstance; to be held hostage by another person’s violent objective. Even though it was a long time ago, she’d never wash the stench from her memory. Her vow was always the same: Nobody would ever make Jane Perry a victim again.
But somebody apparently had made the old lady inside the Cherry Creek house a victim. Jane rolled to the curb and parked the Mustang, sucking the last microgram of nicotine from the butt of her cigarette. Squashing it onto the street with the heel of her roughout cowboy boots, she flashed her shield to the cops standing at the periphery and ducked under the yellow crime tape that was draped between the two precision-trimmed boxwood shrubs that framed the bottom of the long, immaculate brick driveway.
Jane Perry is a witty, acerbic character that makes these mysteries stand out from the pack. This novella was amusing and well paced, easy to read in one afternoon.
The story begins immediately as Jane arrives at the crime scene. The gruesomeness is handled with care, and it never becomes too much for the average reader. Although the manner in which the victim was killed was not the most original, it still paints vivid image in our heads. One thing that really bugged me throughout the novella, though, is the use of the word “ironic”. Does no one know what this word means? The author used “ironic” instead of “coincidental” or “suspicious”. It was disappointing to see an author not know what the word meant or how to use it. It really distracted from the reading, especially since she used it about three times in each chapter.
Other than that, the story was fine. Not genre-busting, but entertaining. What this series has going for it is Ms. Perry, she is a character that keeps you hooked to the pages. If you’re less picky than I am about things like wrong word usage, then this might be a good one for you.
The collection of short stories was a treat to read. They all hook you in from the very beginning, and since they are all so different, you never find yourself bored or reading the same type of thing over.
In particular, I enjoyed the last story, “Things Aren’t Always What They Seem”. There is a great sense of tension throughout the entire thing, slowly building to the final reveal that, really, shocks the reader. Well done. This collection I can highly recommend. The stories will keep you at the edge of your seat.