Created by Kristen Lepionka
Along with the usual angles to dangle (mommy issues, daddy issues, sibling issues, substance abuse issues, a dubious diet, etc.), rookie author Lepionka tosses in a decidedly modern one: sexual preference issues. It may be a coldly calculated move on the author's part, but Roxane's bisexual version of torn between two lovers, while not the main attraction, adds a welcome spritz of freshness to the proceedings.
Lepionka does this by making Roxane, despite her numerous flaws, somehow likable and maybe even *GASP!* identifiable.
We WANT her to clean up her life.
We WANT her to crack the case.
Her first appearance, The Last Place You Look (2017), was a pleasant surpise -- one of the more promising debuts I've read lately, and if the author's not breaking much new ground in this one at least she's paving the road with some sharp writing and good intentions, picking at the scabs of familial discord, small-town secrets, and old prejudices of class and race, and bringing them all home with a solid emotional thump.
Raise a glass of Crown Royal (Roxane's tipple of choice) to the new kid in town.
Private Eyes of the Buckeye State
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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