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Edge of Evil by J. A. Jance
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Edge of Evil (original 2005; edition 2005)

by J. A. Jance

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4891520,952 (3.37)10
Member:tututhefirst
Title:Edge of Evil
Authors:J. A. Jance
Info:Avon (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, E-book
Rating:
Tags:Nook, MMM, Arizona, HM12

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Edge of Evil by J. A. Jance (2005)

Recently added byarena55, jackweiser, CommunityAtheneum, private library, arena50, appfan, harriscountypl
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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This was my first J.A. Jance book. I also plan for it to be my last.

Despite my low rating, I have no violent outrage; it just irritated me in a multitude of different ways. This was mainly due to my own personal outlook: this book definitely has a bad case of Did Not Do the Research and I tend to be very quickly exasperated by incorrect real-world details and inconsistencies. I also found the protagonist to be self-righteous, unlikeable, and egocentric. The author attempts to make various political statements about issues like ageism, domestic abuse, and gun control, and there is something rather impressive here: in several cases, I considered that the strawman arguments won the debate.

What pushed it over the edge was one particular authorial conceit: Jance has her character start blogging. While I understand the benefits here, such as allowing her character to speak in first person, I thought it not only fell flat, but also caused the rest of the book to do an impressive pratfall. Ali as blogger is disgustingly indiscreet, posting personal details and histories of those around her; for example, details of her friend's death, her own marriage, and more. At some point she attempts to switch to pseudoanonymity....after having posted everyone's names, marital problems, past histories, etc. Hun, h'it don't work that way. I think someone should have taken her to court for slander. She is also impressively egocentric, and views a blog with curated comment section (curated as in she only posts the comments she likes) as a "conversation." She tends to appropriate the grief of all those around her. Her friend dies? Make it about her. Her father has a terrible accident? Ali must undertake the terrible sacrifice (which all the characters treat as impressively noble) of waiting tables at the family restaurant. A woman contacts her about domestic abuse? Ali feels afraid for herself. Add to this that any disagreement to her point of view comes from shrewish strawman commenters spewing hatred as well as what would otherwise be reasonable objections, and I got extremely impatient. All of her commenters apparently have a second-grade reading level, as they write in simple sentences with words less than three syllables. Because the rest of the plot apparently isn't unrealistic enough, Ali ends up in contact with an abusive husband whose wife leaves him, leading him to decide to hunt Ali down. If someone was that insane, attacking any internet persona that his wife read, he would been in an insane asylum far before Ali encountered him.

I found the characters to be unlikable, most of them intentionally so, and found the mystery to be problematic. Ali's friend goes off a cliff in her car; since this is a murder mystery, we of course all know that she was pushed. Apparently, the police are unable to tell the difference in the snow tracks--a forensic impossibility. A typed, unsigned suicide note is found, with no evidence of where it was typed. The police take it as true without question. The list of improbable and naive elements goes on and on, leading to a bad case of Did Not Do The Research.

My major issue with this book is that I am one of those people who always sweat the details, and this book has a multitude of small inconsistencies, contradictions, and plot holes. I couldn't warm to the main character and was therefore unable to forgive the improbabilities and lack of research. If you are more easygoing about the plot and facts, then I think this might very well be a cute cozy mystery involving small-town life. ( )
  page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
I was inspired to read this book after hearing [a:J.A. Jance|15502|J.A. Jance|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1201288908p2/15502.jpg] speak
at Internet Librarian last year. The book is a about an “over
40” news reporter who is fired from her job for being too
old and subsequently finds herself with her life falling
apart: husband sleeping around, no job prospects, injured
father and embroiled in the aftermath of the death of her
friend. I enjoyed the story, but thought that it was really
complicated and not going anywhere until 7/8ths of the way
through when suddenly all the pieces fell into place. The
interesting part [from a librarian’s point of view:] was that the main character starting blogging. This element introduced
a variety of random voices into the story, something I think
that we all experience on a daily basis. It gave the book
a level of reality that I haven’t experienced in other books
thus far. I do hope the author writes about the character
again. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
This was the audio edition -- still a little boring. The most interesting aspect was the blog concept! The end of her high-profile broadcasting career came too soon for TV journalist Alison Reynolds—bounced off the air by executives who wanted a "younger face." With a divorce from her cheating husband of ten years also pending, there is nothing keeping her in L.A. any longer. Cut loose from her moorings, Ali is summoned back home to Sedona, Arizona, by the death of a childhood friend. Once there she seeks solace in the comforting rhythms of her parents' diner, the Sugarloaf Café, and launches an on-line blog as therapy for others who have been similarly cut loose.

But when threatening posts begin appearing, Ali finds out that running a blog is far more up-close and personal than sitting behind a news desk. And far more dangerous. Suddenly something dark and deadly is swirling around her life . . . and a killer may be hunting her next. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  caroren | Sep 23, 2012 |
I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I love how it starts out over a snowy mountain pass, it hooked me in. I thought over how Ali Reynolds was fired abruptly from her position at a news station and how true that is. I was swept away for many chapters as the stories unfolded. To me there a lot of extra bits that we did not really need, the Sugarloaf Café parts are almost not needed at all. Yes its funny to have her working there again but we don’t to hear about the buyers interested as Ali has no standing on if it should be or not. I hate that there is not more of her cop friend, there is a hit of something more but it left me wanting more. I also wished we could have seen more of the lady that worked with Reenie- she looked like a partner in crime in the making, wanted more interaction. I love the blog, it was a great idea to have her venting like that and the plot in that area was refreshing and something new. I do wish that end result of the blog happened later in the book and not as soon. It felt more powerful than the real climax. The climax itself felt a bit rushed to me and left me wanting more from it. There are a lot of opening in this book, hopefully they continued on into the next one. ( )
  JennaSmith | Feb 17, 2012 |
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Dedicated to Michael and Sheri;
and to Ernie G. and Patti W.
And in memory of Holly Turner
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A pair of headlights inched down Schnebly Hill Road, down from the Mogollon Rim toward red rock-rimmed Sedona, eleven treacherous miles below.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060828412, Mass Market Paperback)

The end of her high-profile broadcasting career came too soon for TV journalist Alison Reynolds—bounced off the air by executives who wanted a "younger face." With a divorce from her cheating husband of ten years also pending, there is nothing keeping her in L.A. any longer. Cut loose from her moorings, Ali is summoned back home to Sedona, Arizona, by the death of a childhood friend. Once there she seeks solace in the comforting rhythms of her parents' diner, the Sugarloaf Café, and launches an on-line blog as therapy for others who have been similarly cut loose.

But when threatening posts begin appearing, Ali finds out that running a blog is far more up-close and personal than sitting behind a news desk. And far more dangerous. Suddenly something dark and deadly is swirling around her life . . . and a killer may be hunting her next.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:48 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Fired from her high-profile broadcasting career by TV executives looking for a "younger" woman and in the process of divorcing her adulterous husband, journalist Alison Lawson heads home to Sedona, Arizona, to recover, launching an online blog as therapy for herself and others facing similar situations, but threatening posts lead her to suspect that she has become the target of a killer.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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