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Book Review: No Safe Place by JoAnn Ross

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JoAnn Ross sets her latest romantic thriller, No Safe Place, in post-Katrina New Orleans "where folks have a certain way of doing things."

Chicago homicide detective Kate Delaney travels to New Orleans after she learns her twin sister has committed suicide. Certain her sister was murdered and unfamiliar with the city, she hires a private investigator to assist her in learning the truth. The PI she chooses, Nick Broussard, ex-Navy SEAL and ex-NOPD, seems perfect for the job: he's intelligent, physically fit, motivated, resourceful, good with weapons, and – not necessarily a bad thing – reckless.

That they find an immediate mutual physical attraction is a given; whether they will act on it is another matter. After all, Kate's sister is dead and she has a lot of unanswered questions. The last thing she needs is some Cajun hotshot scrambling her mind.

As a romantic thriller, the emphasis in No Safe Place is heavy on the romance and light on the thrills and suspense. There is almost nothing in the way of atmosphere: Kate and Nick could be on a boat in Seattle, or Bar Harbor, or Miami. This is unfortunate since New Orleans is practically synonymous with sensuous and sultry. Character development is non-existent and the plot is mostly recycled. The vast majority of the narrative can be attributed to either Kate or Nick as verbal, mental, or physical interplay. It's a bit tedious in places, but interesting enough to keep the pages turning.

However, where No Safe Place fails is in some sloppy editing. Time frames appear to be arbitrary. Characters forget things that they previously knew. Inconsistencies in the plot, rarely a strong point in this genre anyway, are conveniently overlooked. Fans of the author's previous novels will forgive these lapses; new readers may not.

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  • ddarkangelo

    Truth is, reality beats fiction all to hell.

    I was a NOPD cop long before the black plague infested the old humid,gritty city by the river.

    My real original past was ten times more checkered board than any fictional character could ever have dreamed up.

    Born in a German Lebensborn at the end of WWII.
    Later to be raised in Cypress,then in Italy;and eventually to be brought to New Orleans by age ten to learn English and soon find myself a runaway,homeless and living off the streets of New Orleans,Metarie and Jefferson Parish in the late 1950’s into the 1960’s.

    Enlisting underage in the military to find myself in Viet Nam.Then serving two tours before I returned to old New Orleans by my 21st birthday to join the NOPD.

    That ain’t even half the story,as that was 1967 and things only got hotter and crazier after that,after eleven years on the NOPD life really got hectec……….

    if only I were a writer

  • J.J.

    I am a writer and a teacher. I write romance/thrillers and teach Special Education. I read anything and everything. This past summer I began writing a story about mysterious abductions in a small town in the South. I wanted the theme to be based over time, so I began reaserching possible conspiracy’s. Then I began reading about Lebensborn and the plan for the super-race. I didn’t have to make up a conspiracy and I couldn’t possibly have made up a more horrifying story than what Hitler and the SS had planed for these children. Before researching this nightmare of history I had only heard about what was done to the Jewish People. I don’t think many people realize his true plan and what it would have meant for the world. Hitler, his Doctors, and the SS were all apart of black magic and believed themselves to be Satans army. What Hilter did to the Jewish families was horrific, he didn’t just kill them, he used them for his sick experiements. I have heard some crusome stories of what was done to some of the Lebensborn Children. I am sure you have a incredible story, write it. the world should know your story. Most of the people that were considered to be Lebensborn, seem ashamed and tormented by the symbol Hitler placed on them. But to me you and everyone that suffered like you, are symbols and proof that God Won that war. We all would have been a slave to Hilter had he won. But the children born Lebensborn would have been his most important slaves. I am proud of your survival. Good Luck!

    I did read this book and enjoyed it but I didn’t mind skipping pages. She has written better.