Everywhere She Turns is a complex mystery featuring a young woman who goes back to her hometown to investigate her sister’s death. However, this book was muddled and the hero and heroine never, not once, came alive for me.
CJ Patterson and her sister Shelley grew up in Huntsville, Alabama in a bad neighborhood. Their parents argued, fought, took drugs, drank and partied until their father up and left. CJ spent her time trying to protect herself and Shelley from their mother and her boyfriends. Finally CJ did get out due her mentor Edward, a kindly older man who took a fatherly interest in her. CJ went to medical school and is doing a residency in Baltimore. Shelley never got out. She got a boyfriend who took advantage of her and enmeshed her a life of drugs and prostitution. CJ has tried to help her sister, but to no avail.
One night after a hard day in the emergency room, CJ gets a call. Shelley has been found dead and it looks like murder. So CJ takes off to Huntsville, where back in the old neighborhood she finds out that not much has changed. The scum are still out in force and Shelley had been working as a “foot soldier” (prostitute) for one of the scummiest. Kevin Braddock is the detective working the case, and he and CJ take a dislike to each other.
CJ and Braddock work the case – sometimes together and sometimes separately. CJ is sure that Shelley’s old boyfriend/pimp Ricky is the one who killed her, but Ricky ends up murdered too as do about 5 other people who have ties to Shelley. CJ and Braddock end up as lovers after an initial hostile period, and finally Braddock figures things out just as Shelley is alone with the killer. The identity of the murderer is not a big surprise and I figured it out from the back blurb.
Everywhere She Turns was a chore for me to read. The book is written in a choppy style, and it jumps around a lot. As I said, none of the characters ever came alive for me and I can’t picture them in my mind at all. For a book with a large cast such as this one that is a major defect, and I kept backtracking in the book to try and figure out who was who.
CJ came across as a combination of angry and clueless – she’d run into danger with not much thought at all. I know she grew up on the mean streets and knows some of the bad guys from back when, but she seemed to be spinning her wheels instead of thinking things through.
Braddock was a cipher pure and simple. I had to dogear the place where his first name was given since it was only given once. For me, he was a faceless character and his attraction to CJ was inexplicable given their hostility toward each other.
I love romantic suspense, but I had a hard time reading Everywhere She Turns. I couldn’t connect to the style, the characters or anything at all. I might also warn the Gentle Reader – in addition to my issues with the writing style in this book, the methods of killing are quite gruesome indeed. All of this adds up to a book I definitely cannot recommend.
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