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Seven Suspects


Seven Suspects

Following 2016’s A KIND OF JUSTICE, Chicago’s celebrated coif queen, Bobbi Logan, is back in an intriguing thriller. A relentless stalker haunts Bobbi and taunts her with suspicious notes, preceding more obvious intentions. During gender transition, Bobbi survived rape, “oceans of abuse” and countless acts of bigotry. A few years ago, she was a person of interest in the murder of a mob boss who may have directed the attacks on her.

Now, a mysterious burly figure peripherally appears, then vanishes. Imagination run amuck? Bobbi fears that perhaps her provocative attire, including “skyscraper heels,” and recent one-night flings may have provoked the stalker. But who? A numerology disciple, she ascertains that there are --- not surprisingly --- seven suspects, “my fixation on the law of sevens.” (In China, 8 --- a vertical Möbius strip --- is lucky; in the States, 3 is trouble or a charm.) When her business and home are vandalized, the number of suspects seems more like the mega-unlucky 13.

"At Florida Writers Association conferences, attendees learn to 'write what you know.' Renee James does that with aplomb."

Resourceful Bobbi could deal with a stalker, but her “niece” Roberta --- the teen daughter of former spouse Betsy --- stays with Bobbi while Betsy vacations in France. Fearing for Roberta’s safety, Bobbi’s “response to bullying and terrorism goes through several states, the last of which is blind anger.” Bobbi refuses to be intimidated. She methodically documents suspicious incidents and interviews “all six of my stalker suspects. I think there’s a seventh person I’m just not seeing. Still, the last time I ignored my instincts I paid for it in nightmares that will last a lifetime.”

Instinct fails, as Bobbi enters a living nightmare. Although the seventh suspect is somewhat improbable and well-telegraphed, Bobbi’s honed investigative skills will impress hardboiled detective fans.

Renee James is the pen name of a Chicago-area transgender author and Vietnam War veteran. The magazine editor, writer and successful entrepreneur took home the 2012 Chicago Writers Association Indie Book of the Year award. When looking for quality writing (which the author serves by the truckload), don’t focus on the characters. The protagonist’s transgender status is part of her essence. I had difficulty relating to one element of the character. Five minutes once a month for a barber to use number four clippers on my thinning white hair causes the hairdressing aspects to get lost with me. At Florida Writers Association conferences, attendees learn to “write what you know.” Renee James does that with aplomb.

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy on October 6, 2017

Seven Suspects
by Renee James

  • Publication Date: October 3, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1608092550
  • ISBN-13: 9781608092550