Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review- Bailey's Run by Ali Spooner

Bailey’s Run
By Ali Spooner
Jan 2, 2014
Contemporary/ Lesbian/ Mystery/ Paranormal
358 pgs
Publisher: Affinity Ebook Press NZ LTD
Kindle Edition

Bailey Chambers mourns the loss of her lover, Nessa, in an unsolved carjacking. When Tommy, Bailey’s brother becomes a victim of a gay bashing, Bailey assumes his case will be handled the same way as her lover’s—lackadaisically.

Desi Dexter assigned to Tommy’s case, feels Bailey’s disdain toward her and her partner. Through tenacious police work, Desi, is able to uncover the reason for Bailey’s attitude, and convinces her that she is sincere in solving the case.

Mutual attraction sparks, and before they can move forward with their fledging romance, Desi, and her partner Braxton, uncover the presence of a serial killer.
What will happen to Bailey, when, Desi, becomes engrossed in another case, can their relationship survive?

This is one of those stories that was quick to read and was entertaining with a lot of fun characters, but which didn’t really excel in one area. It’s both a romance and a mystery of sorts, however, the romance developed fairly quickly without too much ado and the mystery didn’t have enough tension or mystery actually. Bailey’s Run is carried mainly by a gaggle of characters interacting and several random events happening, which was fine as is.

The two main characters, Bailey and Desi, are very likable characters. Bailey is a truck driver during the week, but works in her Aunt’s bar on the weekends. Many women have been trying to catch Bailey’s eye, but since the murder of her partner, she’s not been interested in dating. For her, her partner was perfect and she has no desire to find a replacement. She’s also still grieving as there was no closure in that her partner’s killer was never found.

Desi is a detective who’s just trying to do the right thing in life. She’s a tough but warm woman and has a good working relationship with her partner who is supportive and doesn’t have judgments that she’s a lesbian. She meets Bailey when she’s called on the case of Bailey’s brother Tommy being severely beaten outside her aunt’s bar. Although Bailey is very cold and snippy with her, she feels a spark between them. Something about Bailey attracts her.

For Bailey it’s the same, but her anger over the police not doing anything about her partner’s death has left a bad taste in her mouth and she blows Desi off. On her own, Desi checks out what happened to Bailey’s partner and totally gets Bailey’s anger since the investigation was shoddy to non-existent. Between working on Bailey’s brother’s case and deciding to work behind the scenes to reopen her partner’s murder case, she manages to become closer to Bailey. Bailey slowly opens up to Desi, feeling attracted to someone for the first time since her partner’s death, and feeling also that Desi is on the up and up with her.

They are very cute and sweet together and the romance develops easily, quickly and nicely without too much conflict once Bailey is on board. While there’s a pretense of staying apart for ethical reasons, they don’t pay too much attention to that on a personal level.

Outside of the romance, there are several plot lines. Desi and her partner Dexter, besides going after the men who jumped and beat up Tommy, get reassigned to cold case after they solve who killed Bailey’s partner. Desi discovers a pattern of killings and they realize that they might have a serial killer on the loose. They also figure that the killings happen around the same date every year and that date is coming up soon.

The author goes back and forth between them and the serial killer, giving us insight into who the killer is and their investigative process. I felt this part was not really that well developed as there was no tension built up in finally finding the killer really. I kept expecting more tension or maybe more danger for certain characters, but that never happened. This part of the story felt more like a reason to bring in more characters and keep the story going.  


Also, and this is something that bugged me, an FBI profiler is brought in. Her father was FBI and she’s allegedly some kind of serial killer expert. She works with a partner, also her life partner outside of the job, who is a psychic. Unfortunately, this part of the story was off to me. Basically, all the FBI profiler does is have her partner do her thing while she does zero investigating. They felt rather like unnecessary and extraneous characters thrown in there to add more character interaction even though as characters go they are likable. And about the psychic thing, well, I think I would have been on board with that if the psychic didn’t come up with all the answers right away versus having an actual investigation, which included some psychic help. Due to that it went into hokeyville for me at times. 

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What does work in this story is the connection between all the characters. The characters get together a lot for fun, food, home cooking and entertainment while they deal with what seems like non-stop issues. They have a great camaraderie and all support each other. I loved that Fubar, Bailey’s aunt’s bar, is one of the central places they meet up and that it features drag queen shows. Most of the characters are either gay or supportive of the gay community and that was rather nice to read as well.

And, well, this is stupid and most people won’t care, but there was a rescued kitten. Desi finds it in an alley and brings it home. The kitten actually gets a fair amount of detail and attention and I found myself worrying about it when both Desi and Bailey can’t get home and loving that it was part of the story.

So, while there were some issues for me in this book, overall it’s a good read.

Heat Level: 2 – sex mostly implied not graphically written

Grade: 4 Stars