THE AXE FACTOR by Colin Cotterill


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Restless reporter teams up with veteran crime writer of questionable character to solve a series of disappearances. Can it possibly turn out well?

Despite her exile to the southern coast of Thailand, former big-city journalist Jimm Juree has almost managed to keep her sanity with the occasional online assignment, all the while peppering her imaginary friend Clint Eastwood with a series of chatty pitches for her dream screenplay. Jimm seems normal compared to her musclehead brother, Arny; her blithely unrealistic mother, Mair, who's responsible for moving the family to the boondocks; and her grumpy, ever more addled Grandpa Jah, who keeps bursting her fanciful bubbles. Jimm's in a particularly foul mood after being seriously mauled by an ungrateful cat she's rescued from a tree. So she's both delighted and surprised when she interviews veteran British crime writer Conrad Coralbank and finds a kindred soul. Jimm openly admits her attraction to the older man, who's just conveniently separated from his wife. When said wife is identified as one of several local women who's recently gone missing, Jimm wonders if she's in too deep to see Coralbank's place in the mystery clearly. She decides to investigate anyway. Creepy unattributed blog entries woven into the tale, presumably from the killer, add tension, and an impending storm raises the stakes.

Jimm's third case (Granddad, There's a Head on the Beach, 2012, etc.) continues her evolution from inveterate wisecracker to believably flawed and funny heroine. The result is a perfect balance between droll comedy and serious plotting.

Pub Date: April 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-04336-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014


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