Friday, May 4, 2018

Book Review: The Big Job

By Sara Steven

**Synopsis may contain spoilers for The Big Lead (review), The Big Interview (review), The Big Overnight (review), and The Big Weekend (review)**

TV reporter Stella Reynolds lands in Palm Springs, California to cover the trial of a man accused of killing his business partner in cold blood. He’s adamant he didn’t do it, and Stella gets a credible tip, off the record, that he’s telling the truth. Now she’s on the clock to unmask the real killer before the jury returns a verdict.

A new source is pumping Stella full of exclusive information, can she trust it? A colleague thinks they were drugged to force them off the case, can Stella trust them? Her race car driving boyfriend is far across the country, surrounded by adoring fans, can she trust him? And an ex-love is just down the street, can she trust herself? (synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

The way the scenes are described and laid out in every single Stella Reynolds novel, you can’t help but feel as though you’re part of it, another character who is right there with Stella at every turn. Starting at the very beginning, where she’s literally thrown into a very uncomfortable and awkward situation, I could see the nervousness, could feel the tension. It’s so well-written, it’s hard not to be drawn in!

I really appreciated how Stella teams up with an old friend from former books in this series, Vindi. They have such opposing personalities, there’s a bit of an "Odd Couple" vibe to the edges of their friendship, which lends into entertaining moments. It was also interesting to bring back old flames, the kind that Stella can’t seem to get out of her system, no matter how hard she tries. There were a lot of romantic dynamics that brought much-appreciated drama and a nice element of chaos.

The winding twists and turns have gotten more impressive and intricate, too. Just when I thought I had a good grip on who the perpetrator is in this story, I’d hit a dead end, and would go right back to square one, right along with Stella. Or, when I thought one of the characters would become more of an important piece in figuring out the puzzle, it wasn’t the case, or vice versa. And it was hard not to feel close to the new characters, the ones who I felt such compassion for, or the ones who I felt annoyed by.

I don’t know if The Big Job is the last one in the Stella Reynolds Mystery Series, but it was certainly the perfect addition. And, while I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned this in other reviews I’ve written for the other Stella books, I’m really looking forward to reading more about the life of Janet, a friend of Stella’s. We’re given a teaser into her story at the end of this one, and she is such an insanely addictive character, I can’t wait to find out what sort of shenanigans she gets herself mixed up into!

Thanks to Libby Kirsch for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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