“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” ― Mary Harris (Mother) Jones

1Revjumpcut-copy-2I have to apologize to Libby again. I’m in a group she started that gets dibs on her new stuff so we can write and post reviews as soon as the book or novella or whatever comes out.

So, back in January or February I downloaded a copy of Jump Cut, the new Ellie Foreman novel due out around the first of March, and started to read it with the best intentions of meeting my deadline.

Didn’t happen.

So, here, finally, is my review of Jump Cut, and I swear, Libby, I’ll try to do better. Honest.

I find it hard to like Ellie sometimes. I gather I share that with her friends—even though they love her, I get the feeling that sometimes, like me, they want to grab her and shake her and tell her to for heaven’s sake pay attention. Because every time she gets in trouble, it seems, it’s because she dives headlong into a situation before she’s really thought it through.

Case in point: a PR video commissioned by a major tech corporation that manufactures military hardware. Only when Ellie takes her B roll to a board meeting, the company cancels the production flat, without a word of explanation. Which was their mistake, because Ellie has ‘satiable curiosity when she doesn’t know why, and this time her effort to get an answer turns deadly.

This is only the second Ellie Foreman book I’ve read, although I have the boxed set sitting on the electronic TBR shelf. Since I’m very much a character-oriented reader, it both frustrates and delights me that I can so easily get emotionally involved with her, as previously noted. You know how people watching sports on TV are always shouting at the players and the coaches and whatnot? It’s all I can do to restrain myself from doing that with Ellie.

And given the complex mess Ms. Hellmann has concocted for her this time around, there are many, many times when that happens. Indeed, the mystery of why that little PR piece was cancelled evolves into a labyrinthine enigma I can’t even really talk about without spoilers. That, to me, is the quintessential sign of a superb mystery novel. Every time you turn around, something else is gumming up the works and knotting the yarn until you can’t put the book down without getting a case of the twitches wanting to know what happens next.

So, long review short, if you want a terrific story with a mostly unwitting sleuth whom you’ll probably end up, as I do, wanting to invite over for a beverage and a stern chat about the wisdom of occasionally not diving into the dark head first, do pick up a copy of Libby Fischer Hellmann’s new Ellie Foreman novel.

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