2 out of 4 stars
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Nikki Armstrong, Measure of a Woman narrates the story of detective Nikki and her life story. The novel begins with her at the funeral of an innocent child she failed to save, but nearly all of the following chapters have little to do with it.
The reader learns about the Detective's formative years and the challenges she faced while playing football in college and being on the track team. She also faces many difficulties and dangers while being part of the U.S. Navy and next in the NYPD.
This book touches on many delicate subjects, such as corruption within the law enforcement, human and drug trafficking, rape, and sexual abuse; since it additionally includes a great deal of violence and vulgar language, it's definitely written for adults, despite the illustrations that remind of a teen novel. Lastly, the author topped it all with sprinkles of racism and misogyny.
In all sincerity, I didn't enjoy this book very much. I felt like author Vincent E. Green tried to concoct an inspiring story about an empowered woman but produced a character very clearly written through the male gaze, due to sentences like "her manicured fingers" and "the wound was sexy on her slender leg." This was my least favorite part about the book. Additionally, Nikki was so talented in so many areas that she wasn't realistic at all.
Furthermore, the story felt unnecessarily long. The book has over 250 pages, divided into episodes and then into 37 chapters. It didn't have a climax, making the whole storyline seem flat and unexciting; there wasn't much progress to the plot, just accounts of the different stages of Nikki's life. The novel also included chapters about her family members, which didn't feel relevant to the bigger picture. Besides, some of Nikki's dialogues were more like monologues, as they felt unreal and practiced. Lastly, this novel has more than ten errors, which suggests it needs further editing.
I find it noteworthy that, while Nikki and her family believe in God, this book is suitable for people of all religions. Plus, the ending is unsatisfying, but that might have to do with the fact that this book is part of a series.
It wasn't all bad; the action scenes (and there were more than a few) were decently written and had enough details to feel like you were there; this was my favorite thing about the novel. Moreover, some aspects about Nikki are wonderful, like her love for her family and her dedication to her job.
Overall, this was an average novel. Because of the numerous aspects mentioned above, I grant this two out of four stars. I believe adults who like police-themed action novels will enjoy this after it goes through another round of editing.
Nikki Armstrong, Measure of a Woman
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