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Friday, October 27, 2017

#allthebookreviews: Seven Suspects by Renee James @oceanviewpub @reneejauthor @netgalley

Seven Suspects
(Bobbi Logan Crime Novel #3)
by Renee James
Oceanview Publishing


Big thank you to Oceanview Publishing and Netgalley for this copy.

Could you read this as a stand alone?  I didn't see an issue but after reading other reviews, it seems it would be a good idea to read these in order (which is my usual rule of thumb anyways - oops!)

Bobbi Logan is a successful businesswoman and a celebrated hairdresser. She is a witty, articulate woman who has survived rape, gender transition, a murder investigation, and countless acts of bullying and bigotry to get where she is--and she's made enemies along the way. Now one of them is stalking her. With each passing day, the threats become more brazen, more violent, and more personal. No one knows who here stalker is or why he's after her, but he's getting closer every day. Bobbi is intimidated but she has vowed to never be the victim again. She accumulates a list of six suspects, and with courage and persistence, she hunts them down, one by one--stalking her possible stalkers. But as she confronts those men who may want to do her harm, the number seven keeps haunting her--there must be a seventh suspect. And when she finds him, Bobbi's world implodes.

My Thoughts:

"Fate. Karma. God's grand design.  Call it what you will, some days are just fucked before you get out of bed."   Ain't life grand?  👀  And Renee, I agree - sometimes life just deals you what it deals you, no matter which side you get up from.

I'll be honest, I struggled through the first few parts of this book.  Bobbi comes across as this extremely smart, strong and successful woman but the insecurities rise like the sludge of leftover soup.  The constant need to make everything sexual became very off putting at times... and trust me, I'm not one to cower or run from any type of sexual implicity.  However, every time Bobbi meets a man, whether it's by first glance, or a small encounter, or with her ex (Phil), the love of her life, it immediately goes to whether that man finds her attractive, repulsive or how quickly she can get into bed with him.  EVERY ENCOUNTER.

Bobbi's character has been raped and abused in the past and yet she STILL lets strange men into her home and bed.  (I know that this is sometimes a natural reaction for those who have been through such trauma - it can be this extreme or the flip side, but it's frustrating to read sometimes.)  Even goes after each suspect in who could possibly be stalking her.  She's taken self defense classes and her body is still large and intimidating but yet all these men are a threat to her, not only mentally but physically.  WOMAN, stop it already!!

What ended up happening though is that I completely started to feel for Bobbi with each chapter.  Yes, I was frustrated with her.  Yes, I wanted to shake her and give her a good talking to... but she had Cecelia for that.  I really enjoyed their friendship - it reminded me a lot of my friendship with my best friend, completely and unabashedly honest with that cut of sarcasm.   Always looking out for the best in each other while still accepting each other wholeheartedly.  You can't ask for more than that and it resonates throughout this book.

The final scene was hard to read - and not because I'm squeamish or haven't read worse - but because of how invested I started to get into Bobbi's character.  You'll have to read to see how it all turns out.

Now, I know very little of the trans world so I can only imagine what Bobbi has gone through.   What this novel did for me was to shed some light into this community and for that I am ever grateful.  It also prompted me to look into the author some more and I found that she is transgender and based Bobbi on her physically.  I found this link to the publisher's site where you can learn more about her... and I suggest that you do:

★★★ 1/2

Jessica's Thoughts:

SEVEN SUSPECTS by Renee James is book three in the Bobbi Logan series, however it did read well as a standalone. The author brings the reader into a world of paranoia, stalking, and the life of one woman trying to figure out who, of her seven enemies, is harassing her.Bobbi Logan is a successful hairdresser and business owner. She's gone through her share of hardships to get to where she is now. She's gone through gender transition (which has come with bigotry and bullying), survived rape, and even been part of a murder investigation. None of that can stop her or keep her down but needless to say, she's created a few enemies along the way. One day she begins to receive threats from a stalker. The threats become increasingly violent and personal as each day passes. Bobbi has vowed to never be a victim again, so she compiles a list of six men it could possibly be. When she confronts each of them she quickly realizes there's probably a seventh suspect. 

I will say that this was both a frustrating and interesting read. Bobbi was both likeable and irritating. Despite her history she continues to let men she doesn't know into her home. I agree with my reader in crime, Chandra, on this one - you just want to shake her and tell her to snap out of it! I did love her friendship with Cecelia though. It felt so genuine and real. I'm sure every reader will be able to relate to that connection and think of their best friend. 

I don't want to give away too much more information about the ending or other events, but it definitely comes to a climax at the end. 

Overall, I did like this book. It was a good mystery and you get invested in the characters. It gives the readers a glimpse into a world that not many know a lot about - at least I don't. The hardships that Bobbi faces from gender transition are what made her mentally stronger. 

 I give this one 3.5/5 stars!

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