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Spotlight: Head Case by Jennifer Oko

In Blog Hops, Giveaways on June 13, 2013 at 1:41 am
Head Case Spotlight Banner
Head Case
by Jennifer Oko
Jennifer Oko Profile Image

About The Author:

Jennifer Oko’s first book, Lying Together: My Russian Affair (written under her maiden name, Jennifer Beth Cohen), was published in 2004 and received numerous positive reviews. The New York Times Book Reviewcalled Lying Together “riveting” and twice named it an Editors’ Choice. The San Francisco Chronicle raved, saying it was “a heady cocktail” and “a quick, juicy read.” Her second book, a satirical novel about morning television news entitled Gloss, was a Marie Claire “pick of the month” in 2007 and chosen as a “hot summer read” by USA Today.

Currently working as a freelance writer and media consultant, Jennifer is a “recovering” journalist and award-winning television news producer. A graduate of Columbia University’s Journalism School, her career has taken her across the country and around the world.

Additionally, Jennifer’s writing has been published in a variety of magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Maxim, Self and Allure.

Jennifer lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their son and daughter.

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Head Case

Genre: Humorous MysteryHead Case - Book Cover

Publisher: Jennifer Oko

Release Date: February 2013


Book Description:

As one reviewer states: “HEAD CASE is an enjoyable gem of a mystery, and more…There are drug-dealing grannies, pill-popping celebrities, Russian mob bosses, eccentric ex-Soviet chemists, feuding roommates, faltering friendships, bad bosses and a rat named Raskolnikov – so how can you not have fun?

HEAD CASE is a new, exciting and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny mystery from an author whose work has been called “SIMPLY RIVETING” by The New York Times and “SHARP AND FAST-PACED” by Publisher’s Weekly. It’s like Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones meets Carl Hiaasen’s Nature Girl (with a dash of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money) as Olivia embarks on a postmortem quest to deconstruct the remarkable events that lead up to her mind-altering death.

A comic satire of the influence of the psychopharmaceutical industry on American life, HEAD CASE takes Olivia and her estranged friend and roommate Polly Warner on a collision course involving ethically challenged executives, spotlight-hungry celebrities, third-rate mobsters and drug-dealing babushkas. A smart and savvy page-turner, HEAD CASE explores the meaning of personal relationships, emotional intelligence, and mental health while taking the reader on a synapse-stirring, neurotransmitting rollicking ride.

Praise for Head Case

“Head Case is an enjoyable gem!” ~Dan McGirt, Amazon Reviewer

“Oko’s writing is as addictive as the pills she pokes fun at!” ~ElevenelevenAM, Amazon Reviewer

“All I can say is that if you don’t put ALL YOUR OTHER BOOKS AWAY and read just the FIRST chapter you are NUTS; you will find yourself going and going and I will just say it now –your welcome!” ~Jennifer Elizabeth Hyndman, Amazon Reviewer


We stopped at a red light and I thought about trying to unlock the door and jump out, but I could see that his eyes were peering at me through the rearview mirror. They appeared to be curious, like he was trying to make sure he got the right girl. Or maybe he was surprised that I, short of stature, thin of frame—conventionally attractive in a conventionally symmetrical sort of way, but not exactly anyone’s exotic fantasy, especially considering the weary, exhausted facade typical of a candidate for a PhD in neurochemistry who was hard up against a number of deadlines and concerns—was the girl he was sent to get. He was no looker, either. His face was puffy but his eyes were squinty, almost closed. The lids were drawn down—the gravity of age, it looked like. But there was something soft about them, something almost sympathetic. These were not the eyes of someone I should fear. At least that’s what I told myself. For a kidnapping cabdriver, this guy was a softie.

Where are you taking me?” I asked again, as composed as I could muster.

The traffic stopped and he turned to face me.

His face was round, almost cherubic. A bulbous nose. Untamed, wiry white eyebrows, just like the photo on the license. A tweed cap was pushing down what appeared to be unmanageably coarse and long-since overgrown salt and pepper hair. He looked like a combination of Einstein and Mr. Magoo.

I could feel my phone vibrating in my pocket and started to pull it out again to see who was calling. Polly’s name was on the caller ID, but before I could answer, the driver waved his finger in the air, admonishing me. I put it back again and held up my empty hands like someone might do after the police tell them to drop their weapons.

The traffic began to move. An icy drizzle started splattering on the windshield. He hit the accelerator and the car lurched forward.

Where are you taking me?” I repeated, this time a little louder.

He sighed as if I were pestering him with my questions. “Brooklyn,” he relented.

Why? Where in Brooklyn? Where are we going?”

Please. Please, no worry,” he said, apologetically, like I should not think it a big deal that there was a strange man driving me against my will to a place I did not ask to go.

I looked out at the East River passing on my left, trying to put all of this cryptic information together, trying to figure out what I should do next. Had I known that I was nearing, well, oblivion, I might have done something differently. I might have ignored Lumpkyn and picked up the phone—told my parents I love them, told that intern over in Oncology that I thought he was cute, told Polly that I was sorry. I mean, what would you do if you were locked in a New York City taxicab with only fifteen minutes left to live? What issue would you want to resolve?

  1. Great excerpt and I wish you well on your tour!:O) Pit crew

  2. So excited to read this book. I hear great things about it 🙂

  3. Thank you for hosting today 🙂

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