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Posts Tagged ‘Mysteries’

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

Amazon

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

Excerpt

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?

My Review of The Bridge of Deaths by M.C.V.Egan

In Amelia Curzon Reviews, The Bridge of Deaths on August 23, 2012 at 1:09 am

Review of The Bridge of Deaths featured on Amelia Curzon's Blog - Carte BlancheA Fascinating Blend of Fact, Fiction, History, Romance and the Metaphysical

Based on an actual event, The Bridge of Deaths tells the story of one woman’s search to uncover the truth behind the death of her grandfather.  On August 15th, 1939, an English aircraft crashed in suspicious circumstances in Danish waters.  Aboard were 5 important passengers, amongst them the author’s grandfather. Two weeks later, World War Two broke out. This part is factual, as is the incredibly well-documented data revealed throughout the book. And the factual information ties in masterfully with the fictional characters and plot.

There are three main characters in the book: Bill, Maggie and Catalina. These characters are well-developed and likeable.

The fiction begins with Bill and Maggie meeting in the self-help section of a book store in London.  They are instantly attracted to each other and become close.  Bill tells Maggie of the nightmares he is experiencing involving the numbers on the side of a plane, visions of a bridge and the taste of cold salt water; all from a past life. Maggie suggests he try Past Life Regression. She then finds details of the air crash on the internet which leads her to contact the third character, Catalina.

Catalina, a Floridian woman, who has spent many years researching the crash herself – which also shows all the signs of a conspiracy – is delighted to find someone else who is interested in the mystery.  Maggie and Catalina agree to help each other and keep in touch via email and Skype calls, which also involves drinking several glasses of wine each, and smoking loads of cigarettes. The trio decide the best way to solve the enigma is through Bill’s regression, which in turn allows Bill to unravel his dreams. Between them they manage to put together the facts; before, during, and after the plane crash.

M.C.V.Egan has authored a book that screams years of dedicated research, to say nothing of how well-written it is. I was captured from the very first page. Throughout the book, I particularly enjoyed the Skype discussions between Maggie and Catalina which made me feel I was sitting there listening to them first hand, being part of the conversation, not reading about them in a book.  Although the narrative is extremely detailed in parts, I found myself wanting all the information I could get.  I was completely enthralled and found it difficult to put down. Though I did, through necessity, several times, but found the thread was easy to pick up again.

It is quite clear many years of love and hard work have gone into this work. It is also clear there is a very strong personal motive behind the writing of it. Having now finished reading, I would say those twenty years of research have unquestionably paid off.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book which is now taking its rightful place on my ‘to be read again soon’ shelf.

Without any hesitation, I am giving The Bridge of Deaths the full 5 stars.

The Bridge of Deaths is available to buy on Amazon US and Amazon UK

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