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No One Lives Twice: A Lexi Carmichael Mystery, Book One: A humorous geek girl mystery Kindle Edition
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Note: this review contains spoilers! A day that starts out like any other quickly becomes anything but as Lexi is accosted not once, but twice by gun toting men. Lexi's best friend, Basia, has sent Lexi a document slew of alphabet organizations want.
And then there are the men: Beefy, who thinks Lexi is cute but won't hesitate to shoot her; Lars, the hot karate teacher; Slash, the Italian who is a super computer hacker, spy, whatever; and Finn, the lawyer who, well you're going to have to figure that one out.
Then there are break ins, the bugged phones, the trackers, the flight to Europe. I think you get the picture!
But always in the front of Lexi's mind is her drive to save her friend and an innocent young lady.
Impossible to put down at times, well crafted, great characters, humor interspersed everywhere, with an ending that has the reader wanting more.
I'm ready to start the next book and not sleep for awhile!
Lexi Carmichael is the heroine of the book. She is a somewhat typical geek who is very good in math and computers and does not have good social skills - you know this kind. She is also a fairly good-looking woman - despite her modesty saying otherwise.
She worked as a low-level grunt in NSA headquarters in Washington, DC. Her work was a boring routine (is not it such for the most of us?). She thought she would never get the excitement of famous spies from fiction, like James Bond in her work. She was completely right: the excitement came not from her work, but from her personal life.
One of uneventful evenings a guy in a dark alley asked Lexi to give him papers her best friend supposedly mailed to her. His gun made a very convincing argument. Lexi, being completely unaware of such papers managed to talk the guy into leaving her alone on the promise she will get in touch with him the moment she has the papers. Or else.
When she got home she found her apartment thoroughly thrashed with yet another guy waiting. He made the same request using the same convincing argument and asked her to give him the papers the moment she has them. Or else.
Lexi still might have had a slight hope of staying out of this, but it was shattered shortly when her neighbor brought her the package in question which was delivered to the neighbor instead of Lexi. It also turned out Lexi's friend who sent her the papers disappeared without a trace leaving our poor heroine to deal with the mess. Fun ensures.
Even from my description of the beginning of the book you might have guessed it is full of cliches. You are right: there are cliches abound from thrillers, cozy mysteries, romance, and chick lit genres.
Lexi works for NSA which practically nobody consider good guys these days, and for a good reason: spying on your own people does tarnish the reputation. I am an IT professional so some of the descriptions of computer-related activities felt like they were written by a person who never approached a computer closer than a couple of miles. I strongly suspect professional biologists would feel the same regarding some other moments of the book.
I mentioned romance. What is the romantic cliche practically everybody hates and are still held dear by romance writers? Love triangles. I am happy to say there is none here. Instead we have a love octagon at least as a bunch of handsome guys kept falling at Lexi's feet.
So it sounds like I would have with a passion, right? Wrong as I enjoyed reading the book. I flew through it in three days considering that these were really busy days for me. What happened? Humor most definitely helped as well as Lexi's attitude.
Lexi being a geek who hates shopping and does not think math is incomprehensibly difficult was another positive side. I am tired of bimbo types of women seemingly very common in literature. Lexi is not one of them.
The mystery itself is quite intriguing and complicated with several interesting and unexpected twists. As redundant as it sounds, I read mystery books for a good mystery; this one delivers.
Finally the writing style makes it a very easy mindless fun read. If you manage to suspend your disbelief you are in for a fast ride.
The final rating is 4 stars - to my complete surprise.
No One is the introductory novel to the Lexi Carmichael legacy of one girl's travel from NSA desk jockey to, well where, frankly, I'm not sure where at this point, I stopped to encourage people like me to read books like this (hopefully that will be people like you). Lexi is a minding her own business on her way from work to being set up by her beautiful wealthy mother (her father lovingly indulges her mother, but doesn't really participate in these set ups) with dinner at her parents lavish home in Washington DC when she discovers herself being mugged for something she doesn't have. By the time she escapes the mugger, reaches her parents' home, discovers she's been set up for dinner with a CPA who thinks he's all that and a bag of chips (and decides she's a secretary instead of the anti-hacker she is since she's a girl, any woman working in IT must read this dinner scene if nothing else, you'll be erecting shrines to Julie Moffett in your front yard!), bribes the Chef to help her escape the dinner, drives home to be mugged again by Middle Eastern Guy who has ransacked her apartment, you'll be hooked!
And this is long before the fifth chapter.
Listen, it's good, it's funny in the right places, it even has a plot. Read it. You'll thank me.
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Lexi Carmichael, what can I say??Read more