Official Review: Out of the Darkness by J. J. Jorgens

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Out of the Darkness by J. J. Jorgens

Post by Cecilia_L » 01 Nov 2018, 09:34

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Out of the Darkness" by J. J. Jorgens.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Out of the Darkness: A Mary Jane Morris Mystery is J.J. Jorgens' third novel featuring the lawyer turned private detective. In the latest volume, Mary Jane wakes up in a hospital room and her boyfriend, Lorenzo informs her that she was the victim of a gunshot wound to the leg. Apparently, she also hit her head, and as a result of the trauma, she is suffering from the loss of her sight and memory. Fragmented memories begin to surface, and she seeks to unravel the pieces related to her injuries and how they are connected with the disappearance of her filmmaker friend, Adam Stone. Faced with what may be her biggest mystery yet, Mary Jane fears her crime-solving days may be over. Will she regain her sight and will her memories ever completely return?

Meanwhile, Mary Jane is plagued with nightmares and begins to receive threatening phone calls from a Russian stranger. Frustrated by her slow recovery process, she feels the need to drop off the radar until she can find answers to some of the questions related to the case. After informing her friend and colleague D.C. Police Chief, Harlan Larson of her plans to disappear, and despite Lorenzo's concerns as the lead physician on her case, she concocts an elaborate ruse involving a press conference and an imaginary travel blog. With the assistance of her roommate Sally's teenage son, Jackson, they embark first by catamaran, then on an old cabin cruiser to seek refuge on the Bay home of Adam's grandmother, Margaret Stone. What follows are a remarkable series of twists and turns related to Russian spies, hidden gold, and a possible historical connection to George Washington and Benedict Arnold.

Having not read Jorgens' previous two Mary Jane Morris mysteries, I was curious if the third book would stand on its own. I'm pleased to say it does. The book is well-written, and the fast-paced plot includes a cleverly intriguing story within the story. It's obvious Jorgens is no stranger when it comes to developing strong female characters of various ages. In the spirit of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, Mary Jane is a fiercely independent protagonist in her late thirties; supporting characters Nadya, Antonia, and Margaret represent strong women ranging from seventeen to eighty. While the story also includes a cast of well-developed male characters, it's pretty clear the women are running the show. Even so, my favorite is Jackson, the sixteen-year-old son of Mary Jane's roommate, Sally, who is nicknamed J. J. interestingly. Wise beyond his years, and with exceptional photography and computer skills, he acts as M.J.'s loyal assistant on the case. However, it was his quick wit and wry sense of humor that I found endearing.

There was one inconsistency in the plot that bothered me. Throughout the book, Mary Jane was meticulous about covering her tracks as well as instructing Jackson and Grandma (Margaret) to do the same. However, there was a specific instance where she let her guard down in a way that was not only uncharacteristic but also put Jackson in danger. I'm unable to go into more detail without revealing spoilers, but I will say my suspicions were confirmed later in the plot. Furthermore, I didn't feel Jorgens addressed the character’s oversight to provide clarity.

Despite the previously mentioned inconsistency, the book was a professionally edited entertaining read worthy of a 4 out of 4 star rating. I recommend it to fans of mysteries with strong female leads comparable to Lisa Scottoline and Sue Grafton novels.

******
Out of the Darkness
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fredrick otieno
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Post by fredrick otieno » 03 Nov 2018, 02:05

I would have loved to start from book one, but since you say this one stands on its own, i wouldn't mind grabbing this first. This is a great book, thanks for your review.

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 03 Nov 2018, 07:32

fredrick otieno wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 02:05
I would have loved to start from book one, but since you say this one stands on its own, i wouldn't mind grabbing this first. This is a great book, thanks for your review.
Thanks for your comment, Fredrick.

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Post by Sahar Majid » 03 Nov 2018, 07:54

I love that this book seems to be feminist in a sense and kind of reminds me of a sort of Indiana Jones for some reason. Anyway, congratulations on the review!

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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 03 Nov 2018, 09:30

Sahar Majid wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 07:54
I love that this book seems to be feminist in a sense and kind of reminds me of a sort of Indiana Jones for some reason. Anyway, congratulations on the review!
Thank you for your comment.

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Post by bookowlie » 03 Nov 2018, 09:53

Great review! It's nice that the book can be read as a standalone. Even though there is a plot inconsistency, the story sounds interesting.
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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 03 Nov 2018, 11:59

bookowlie wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 09:53
Great review! It's nice that the book can be read as a standalone. Even though there is a plot inconsistency, the story sounds interesting.
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Nov 2018, 08:36

I'm glad this one stands on its own because it does sound rather exciting. It's a bit cliche. A woman waking up in the hospital with no amnesia. Still, it must be good to receive a 4 star rating. Thanks.
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Post by 1414kings » 06 Nov 2018, 13:48

Wow! This is pathetic story that catches the the head to the bone marrow. I love the settings of the review. It is supper.

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Post by Franc93 » 09 Nov 2018, 14:02

as always your review was above par, detailed to the end.
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Cecilia_L
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Post by Cecilia_L » 10 Nov 2018, 09:18

kandscreeley wrote:
05 Nov 2018, 08:36
I'm glad this one stands on its own because it does sound rather exciting. It's a bit cliche. A woman waking up in the hospital with no amnesia. Still, it must be good to receive a 4 star rating. Thanks.
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

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