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Smart and Sassy!,
This review is from: JOHNNY WALKER'S RED (A Julie McNamara Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
Just how much trouble can a gal get into by losing her job? With 26-year-old journalist Julie McNamara, plenty! Julie's retrenchment from her job at Polaris magazine catapults her into the kind of seedy world one only reads about. From covering Hollywood A-listers' glamorous and wealthy lifestyles, Julie ends up scraping the bottom of the career barrel somewhat. She is desperate for work and will do just about anything that pays. Her efforts at catching drugged-up rock stars in compromising situations fail miserably since Julie is incapable of working a camera properly. After two hilarious but disastrous attempts, Julie shelves any future plans involving photography. A surprise twist on an ordinary story she had begun prior to her retrenchment opens up a hotbed of scandal involving Maria Gonsalves, the young Latina running for district attorney and her affair with Johnny Walker, the star center fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Her friendship with Johnny (who calls her `Red') leads her into solving a blackmail scam, with surprising results. However, Julie's big hot story comes when she stumbles upon irregularities in the Reverend Ben Bradford's outreach ministries. It turns out that big bucks are changing hands over the Mexican border. Could the charismatic, straight-as-an-arrow reverend be up to no good? Things go downhill pretty fast and Julie ends up being locked in a truck with fifty illegal immigrants, then kidnapped and imprisoned in a padded cell. But come hell or high water, roll those presses because Julie gets her scoop!
Julie is a truly likable character. Smart, sassy, and talented, she is also courageous and really good at her job as an investigative reporter. Her relationship with her widowed father, a retired cop, is outlined in simplest detail, but those pertinent points tell the reader so much about Julie. Julie's backstory, her friendships and relationships are deftly slotted into the story without overwhelming the action because action is what carries the reader on a crazy roller-coaster of events. I found the characters believable, especially Julie. The authors portray the ups and downs, the passions and foolhardiness of a young determined journo in an authentic way. Julie's mad journey unfolds in an easy-to-read style with the heroine's dry understated viewpoint actually making many of the situations even more screamingly funny. This is the kind of read where one does not want to leave Julie hanging by a thread, or off a ledge, or anywhere she might need help. Real, funny, fresh and fast-paced, Julie's story will keep readers turning those pages. This is the first in a mystery thriller series.
First reviewed by Fiona I. for Readers Favorite