STORYLINE: 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.
PLAYERS: Detective Jane Perry, a recovering alcoholic who comes across as a hard-assed, no-nonsense officer, who knows what she’s about.
The supporting cast of characters is related to the victim in some way and most have reason to want to see her dead.
I LIKED: watching Jane at work and how she conducted the investigation. She was patient in questioning her suspects (of which there were many) and sifting through clues, some of which I didn’t pick up on immediately.
The story is complete within seventy-seven pages and I couldn’t help being impressed with Ms. Dewey’s ability to have crime and solution satisfactorily wound up in so few pages.
I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: Jane’s sometimes cynical view of both life and the people she meets. I understand that this is as a result of the situations she has seen on the job, and the people who merit her unkind thoughts do eventually show themselves to be less than squeaky clean.
OVERALL COMMENTS: I enjoyed Promissory Payback. The plot was well thought out, the pacing good, the characters complex and the detective darn good at what she does.
RATING: In my book PROMISSORY PAYBACK is a truly awesome read.
SOURCE: I received a copy of Promissory Payback through the Partners in Crime Tours.
PUBLISHED BY: The Story PlantFrom 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.
GENRE: SuspensePromissory Payback ISBN-13: 9781611880076 ISBN: 1611880076
UNREVEALEDIn 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?
I hardly ever read short stories and wasn’t sure what to expect of Laurel Dewey’s collection, Unrevealed. However I was pleasantly surprised. Each story is unique in terms of subject matter, how each is handled, and what is expected of Perry. In each situation, the reader is given the opportunity to see Perry in a different light. Apart from her tough-cop persona, she’s cast at different times as confident, intuitive, protective, sympathetic, understanding and vulnerable. The endings of each tale came as a surprise, which is one of the hallmarks of a good writer.
It’s hard to pick a favourite from this collection, so I’ll say a bit about each. Anonymous is my least favourite, simply because it made me sad to acknowledge how far we can possibly fall from who are originally. It also made me think about the inevitability of death.
The second story speaks to Jane’s tenacity even as she doubts what she believes she’s being told. The end is satisfying, considering the fact that Detective Perry solves a crime she isn’t too sure is committed. The strange thing is that she works out clues through a boy who has special needs and speaks in a disjointed fashion.
Perry shows herself to be a classy lady when she keeps critical information under wraps to protect the main character in You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets.
The last story in the collection provides much food for thought. I really like the way Dewey handles this one. It packed an emotional wallop and at the end I was sympathetic to both Perry and her unfortunate friend, who takes drastic action after being a victim in her own home.
This total package provided me with another truly awesome read.
PUBLISHED BY: The Story Plant
GENRE: SuspenseUnrevealed ISBN-13: 9781611880236 ISBN: 1611880238
AUTHOR BIO: 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.