Title: Crossing Jordan
Author: Shannon West
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 137 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: I enjoyed this solid little suspense/mystery which explored a very serious subject matter in a believable and realistic way.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: A complicated web of lies threatens Jace’s life and he must fight his way to happiness through a maze of romance, murder and intrigue.
Jace O’Neal is slowly rebuilding his life after a disastrous romance with an actor named Dylan Malone in NYC sends him back to Atlanta in disgrace. Living with his mother and his brother, a fourteen-year-old with Fragile X syndrome, one of the known causes of autism, Jace is pursued by Malone, who finally persuades him into another relationship. Then Dylan goes missing and the evidence left at the scene points to Jace’s involvement.
The detective on the case, Will Jordan, is drawn to Jace right away, and learns that Jace’s former lover was manipulative and cruel. Will fights his attraction to Jace as he seeks the truth of what happened to Malone. As more clues emerge and point to Jace, Jordan begins to believe Jace is in danger. A complicated web of lies threatens Jace’s life and he must fight his way to happiness through a maze of romance, murder and intrigue.
Review: I’ve got to admit, when I think of Shannon West, contemporary mystery/suspense is not what usually comes to mind. Paranormal is usually what I associate with her stories. Not so in this case, though, and it was a nice little change.
I was actually quite surprised at the amount of in depth exploration into domestic abuse situations this story involved, with the specific focus to a victim’s mentality. I felt it was very well portrayed, in that even though I haven’t personally understood, or been a victim of it myself, each situation is different. The representation in this case was believable and realistic. I was able to understand where Jace’s head was at and how it spiraled out of control for him. He was a nice guy who got issued a crappy hand as he struggled to do the right thing by his family, and took on way more than he ever should.
Dylan’s character, though not really present, and developed mainly via memories and flashback (since his disappearance is the mystery), was still very vivid for me. His vanishing reveals the extent of his manipulations, and forces all of Jace’s hidden secrets to the surface while he has been trying so hard to move forward and put them in the past. Will Jordan seems to be the only one who believes him, and thank goodness someone was one his side.
Will Jordan. Ugh. So… I was not his biggest fan. Don’t get me wrong; he was a pretty well written-character, and his imperfection probably is what kept me emotionally invested in a lot of ways. I just wasn’t that happy with him most of the time. IMO, Jordan was a confused mess, constantly sending mixed signals and changing his mind and actions on a whim. For me it was very off-putting. I totally understood his internal struggle; there were a lot of factors, the main one being Jace was coming up as numero uno as a suspect as the evidence piled up. However, his wishy-washy behavior and failure to commit to his own decisions and follow through was annoying for me, so I totally understood Jace’s frustrations.
I appreciated the development of Jace’s character and backstory, and the mystery was fairly solid. Early on I figured out what was going on, as did the MCs, but the resolution and motivation for everything was still mostly unknown, so there was a lot to keep me intrigued and continue reading. The relationship and romantic aspect wasn’t as great, and possibly a little insta-loveish for my personal tastes, but mainly I found Crossing Jordan to be a suspense/mystery which explored a very serious subject matter in a believable and realistic way.
You can buy Crossing Jordan here: