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    Review of WEB OF EVIL by J. A. Jance (see her website)


    Touchstone, January 2007

    Former television reporter and now professional blogger Ali Reynolds drives her Porsche Cayenne to Los Angeles to complete her divorce--so her husband can marry the following day. Because of her husband's need to marry quickly (his fiancee is extremely pregnant), he's agreed to give Ali just about everything she can ask for. When he doesn't show up for the divorce, his body is found to be an apparent murder victim, and his will has not been updated, leaving everything to Ali, Ali becomes a murder suspect. Against the advice of her attorney, though, Ali continues to blog.

    Ali's plight grows worse when she has an argument with the mother of her husband's fiancee--and the older woman promptly ends up dead. Could Ali really be a 'black widow' as a competitive blogger complains? And could the sexy cop from out of town be her ally in murder? If Ali doesn't want to be railroaded toward a lethal injection, she needs to take charge of her own investigation--along with help from her mother and sexy cop Dave.

    Author J. A. Jance's (see more reviews of novels by Jance) skills as a writer nearly manage to obscure the story defects in this mystery. Fundamentally, Ali is just not a likable character. She is certain of her righteousness, full of anger at her soon-to-be ex-husband despite his agreement to give her everything she asks for in the divorce, and unwilling to take advice of her high-priced attorney, the cop who obviously has a crush on her and wants to save her, or anyone else around her. Indeed, given the danger she's in, some of her decisions are simply impossible to take seriously (come on, would she really drive out to see Roseanne without telling anyone?).

    Jance is a powerful writer and her strong style carries over to WEB OF EVIL, but the unlikable and unidimensional characters ultimately limited my enjoyment of this story. This isn't a horrible book, but it isn't as good as it should be, or as I know Jance's books so often are.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 3/20/07

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