Books Worth Your Buck — The Heart of the Matter by James Greer
Today is Books Worth Your Buck day on my blog. This can be a blog hop if you follow the link at the bottom and find out what other books people are recommending. It’s currently my plan to do this every Friday. We shall see, though. ☺
This week’s Books Worth Your Buck is The Heart of the Matter by James A. Greer. I first discovered Greer’s work with his short A Parasol in a Hurricane where he introduces Karen O’Neil (now Sorenson in Heart), an ethical, badass, female cop dealing with an unethical, abusive asshole of a husband. I fell in love with her immediately, wanted to be her best friend, and didn’t want the story to end.
Karen is my she-ro. (grin)
Luckily for me, he has written two more books with Karen as the heroine, Heart being one of them. In this installment of Karen’s story, we step into her life when she has moved with her new husband to Florida, is becoming a first time mom (unplanned), and has joined a small town police force. We follow her through the trials that all officers face when they join a department new to them, except, as a woman, she has to prove herself even more. She knows what to expect. This isn’t her first rodeo as the new policewoman. She expects to have to prove herself and deal with prejudice. But she’s also dedicated to her job and really good at it. Oh, and she isn’t going to let some Neanderthal prevent her from doing her job. (See why I love this woman? Er, fictional character… LOL)
Now, we kind of expect harassment from a few male policemen to happen. We also expect there to be stereotypes in a book, especially when male authors write female protagonists. Not with Greer’s books. You can relax and know he’s going to do women justice. The complexity and humanness of his characters speaks to the research he obviously does to tell a “truthful” fictional story. I imagine he must interview his fellow co-workers (his biography states he’s been in the police force for a few decades now) in order to create such rich, true-to-life characters.
Karen isn’t perfect, she isn’t always sure of the choices she makes, and she makes bad decisions. She struggles with doing the right thing even though she knows it will alienate one of her fellow police officers and make life harder for her. Her frustration of being stuck on desk duty once the department discovers she’s pregnant shines through. She loves the growing child, but doesn’t always like being pregnant. (Been there, done that.) Her desire to be treated as an equal and not just as a baby-making machine is something many women have experienced, or are experiencing. Her determination, grit, and loyalty to her partners are something all of us aspire to.
The story is well thought out, gripping, and fast-paced. Matter of fact, you’ll wonder how you sailed through the 80-90,000 words so quickly (and wish you hadn’t).
Although this is Karen’s third installment, each title stands alone. You don’t have to read the other two, but you’ll probably want to after reading The Heart of the Matter.
Where to find it
The Heart of the Matter is available exclusively on Amazon in both eBook and print form. It’s even available through Kindle Unlimited for “free,” but I encourage you to pay the measly $3.99 for it. It’s more than worth it.
Read other reviews
Please take a moment and read the other sites who are participating in Books Worth Your Buck this week.
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