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REVIEW: “Transition to Murder” by Renee James

PersonalizedBannerShelley

ABOUT:

Winner of the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year, Indie Fiction

“If he had killed me tonight, he’d be sleeping like a baby in an hour. I should be scared by that thought, but mostly I’m angry. Not stomp-your-foot angry. Get even angry. Put a knife in his gut and turn it angry.” A beautiful young transwoman is brutally murdered. The media looks on blindly, the police go through the motions, but the victim’s hairdresser goes ballistic. Bobbi Logan is so outraged by these events that she commits two bold and courageous acts: She comes out as a transwoman herself, sending her career as a hair stylist into a gut-wrenching tailspin, and she begins searching for her friend’s murderer, an investigation that brings her into the vicious web of a powerful, seductive predator who is as charming as he is ruthless.

Originally published under the title Coming Out Can Be Murder, the book tells the chilling story of revenge when a suspected killer lives beyond the reach of the law. Bobbi Logan’s bruising search for truth and justice takes her into the pulsating streets of Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, the colorful world of high-end hair styling, and the city’s vibrant transgender community. Fast-paced and unsparing in hard details, Transition to Murder is a fresh, original portrayal of the life of a transwoman who is searching to discover her own “self” even as she searches for a killer. 

REVIEW:

I’m Bobbi Logan, transwoman, hairdresser, friend to any who will have me, enemy of none. I’m a good citizen and a good person and I’m a woman. All of you who disapprove can go fuck yourselves.

God damn I loved Bobbi Logan! That woman opened my blind eyes to the complete spectrum of life as a transwoman. This story brings to light the colorful transexual characters inhabiting Boystown Chicago and the dark demon who preys on them. But the focus for the most part is Bobbi’s ‘coming of woman’ which is so deeply and thoroughly explored through the first person POV, in so much that we are ‘told’ what happens and how Bobbi feels and a lot of that hits someone like me who is unaware/ignorant of the predjudice toward transexuals really hard. It’s a shocking account that draws attention to the misjustice of the trans society.

This topic is obviously a very personal one to this author and it almost eclipses the storyline of Bobbi’s quest for vengeance and justice against an untouchable, formidable psychopath who preys on transwoman. This element was very good, and especially fascinating from a psychological perspective. We get to crawl inside the mind of this man whose blind lust and vicious vitriol for trans women fuels his monster. The author doesn’t hide the violence and it is, very violent! Persons who cannot read about rape should not be reading this book.

Now I loved a lot of what this story is about, I got the message, I wanted to hug Bobbi, and infact, the next time a see a transwoman I’ll ask if I could hug her too.  But from a readers perspective I feel the message was (at times) shoved down my throat. I wished Bobbi could have stepped of his soap box and held up the middle finger to the world instead of preaching to it. I wish the pacing had been better. Too much of this was plodding through Bobbi’s life as a hairdresser, like pages and pages of his passion for creating up-do’s? But I loved the vengeance play, I loved the mysterious ending, and being the blood thirsty dark hearted girl I am, I loved the violence and psychological play too. This is not a romance if that’s what you are looking for. This is original suspense exploring the life of a transexual woman. It’s good, fascinating,informative and quite heartbreaking too; but for me there was something missing from the writing, a special ingredient that I cannot pinpoint but it failed to make me love ALL of it.

I’ll recommend it though, I  really do like it for it’s unique (to me) premise and the voice of Bobbi Logan and every transwoman he represents.

 

RATING: 3.5  STARS

 

BOOK INFO:

Title: Transition to Murder
Author: Renee James
Publisher: Riverside Avenue Books
Pages: 336
Release Date:24 February 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon UK, Amazon.com

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This entry was posted on June 16, 2014 by in Mystery / Suspense, Reviewer: Shelley and tagged , , .

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