Happy Halloween everyone!
Halloween is the time for all things scary and creepy. The usual scary suspects include monsters, ghosts, and undead creatures. And while these beings do haunt our nightmares, we have yet to encounter them in real life.
The really scary folks are the ones who lurk around in the daylight, people who look human, but are really monsters inside. Murderers, rapists, serial killers—and blackmailers. They’re scary because they’re real.
That’s why I decided that Halloween would be the perfect time to review ONE-EYED JACK by Christopher J. Lynch. It doesn’t deal with murderers, but it does deal with some particularly nasty and even vile people.
230 pages, Paperback
Genre: Adult, Suspense/Thriller
Published on June 13, 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Professional blackmailer John Sharp, aka One Eyed Jack, is a man who knows how to keep a secret – for a price. But when a routine case of infidelity takes an unexpected detour, he soon finds himself caught in a tangled web of double-blackmail, commodities manipulation, and trying to rescue the woman that had once been his target.
I was a bit hesitant when Chris approached me to ask for a book review. First off, my To Be Read pile was just threatening to topple over. Second, I don’t normally review adult books that aren’t in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre.
Chris is a member of my group, CBW-LA, and I’ve also seen how hard he works at self-promotion, plus his trailer was just so cool, I thought I’d give the book a try.
And I’m glad I did.
ONE-EYED JACK is a fascinating story about a professional blackmailer. Blackmailers are usually minor characters, and often vilified or painted in a bad light. And though One-Eyed Jack does blackmail people for a living, I found him a likeable and sympathetic character. He’s a blackmailer with a heart—a three-dimensional character who chooses his victims according to his own moral code.
The story is set in the often ignored South Bay section of Los Angeles. I live in this area, so I love that I could recognize all the locations Chris uses in his book. I had a fun time following Jack through his various missions, and could easily imagine his environment at any given point in the story. And it’s not just because I’m familiar with the South Bay. Chris does a good job of describing the setting enough so that the reader can picture it very clearly in his head.
Plotwise, the story was intriguing and fast-paced. At no point in my reading did I feel the need to take a break or put down the book. The plot just hooked me from beginning to end. I felt that the book was well-researched and I was fascinated by the protagonist’s methods and abilities, and by the technology he uses to spy on people. Technology that is real and currently out there.
I loved getting into the main character’s head, and being able to see the inner workings of a professional blackmailers mind. One-Eyed Jack is an intelligent, streetsmart and savvy protagonist, and his methods are so realistic they’re creepy. I can just imagine a regular person being able to do what he does, with the proper motivation.
I rarely venture outside the realm of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but I’m always glad when I do find a fun story that takes hold of my imagination in more realistic settings.
ONE-EYED JACK by Christopher J. Lynch is an action-packed, exciting and thrilling read. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series!
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