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A Broken Woman: A Jinx Ballou Novel


Loved it! 😍

A gritty, involving thriller, filled with well-drawn characters and brutality. I'm concerned about the dog.

An involving thriller, keeping the reader spinning until the last moment. Poor Jinx Ballou has their hands full, with a potentially dead fiance, wrongly convicted client, Russian mobsters popping up everywhere, and a lot of cops who have mixed feelings about what they are up to. And that's before she takes the case.

I enjoyed this book very much, especially the strong female and trans characters who spring into action and solve the crimes. Fun, and the swirls of the adventure kept me racing along beside the protagonists, wishing for a custom motorcycle and friends like the Athena Sisterhood to back me up in any passing quarrels. The writer has a good sense of humour and asides are always good for a smile.

It was delightful to have characters of non-binary sexuality play main parts in the story, but I yearn for the day when books are written without everyone having to be one sort or another, and everyone simply exists together. There is a lot we need to do to redress the current intolerance and imbalance, but the occasional straight friend might help with the 'normalizing' of the non-binary population.

My main bone of contention about this story is that the 'gritty' part seems to mean the characters can go happily around knifing and shooting and chopping bits off each other and no one seems to care. I haven't been to Arizona lately, but it is horrifying to think this level of vigilante justice would be so acceptable. Torture, rape, sexual abuse, brutal violence, prostitution and more are scattered throughout the pages. After another huge shootout, the police show up to tidy up the mess, but no one ever seems to be charged with a crime. Jinx worries briefly about having to scrape brain bits off their wall, but it doesn't seem to really cause much concern.

I assume they have a housecleaner. Or maybe the dog tidies up? They will eat anything...

I'm no shrinking violet - I enjoy Scandinavian mysteries, for example - but I find the thought of all that gunfire causing not even a bit of local screaming somewhat unconvincing. Are the air conditioners that loud?

It's seriously unlikely I'll plan a visit to Phoenix anytime soon, just in case the description of violent life there is accurate. I feel like grabbing a coffee could be life-endangering. (Of course, I have a friend who thinks New York City is really a movie set, with cops and robbers around every corner.)

I will read more of this series. It's too well-written and full of too much derring-do fun to pass up. Enjoy!

Reviewed by

An avid reader of all genres except romance. Published writer of humour and short fiction/non-fiction. Currently working on a fiction trilogy: Recycled Virgin is out now on Amazon; Deceiving the Devil will be published in June 2020.

Retired nurse. Now artist and crafter plus writing, of course!

About the author

Dharma Kelleher writes gritty crime fiction with a feminist kick and is one of the only openly transgender voices in the genre. She is the author of the Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter series and the Shea Stevens Outlaw Biker series. She lives in Arizona with her wife and three feline overlords. 

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Published on December 10, 2019

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

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