Drive, by JL Gaynor Will Take Your Imagination On a Joy Ride

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J.L. Gaynor takes the reader on a wonderful ride in her novel, Drive. Gaynor’s title so aptly captures the rhythm, internal nuances of the characters’ personality, and the actual events.   It pacing of the plot flows as if the reader was on a journey with the characters, along for a ride filled with emotional ups and downs and the wrenching realism that often besets lovers.  The characters instantly captivates particularly as Gaynor possesses a wonderful ability to evoke a realism of voice within dialogue — each each character speaks distinctly, clearly, veritably articulating her own essence, with her own choice of words. A marvelous, and somewhat rare ability for many writers.

Gaynor’s use of dialogue, both internal and conversationally, fills the imagination with a sincerity of emotional presence; so much, in fact, I felt as though I was with them. I thoroughly Drive.  I look forward to checking out Gaynor’s next book Ascension: A Rachel Cross Novel as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, I the book on the table, ready for perusal.

Gaynor’s emergence on the scene of lesbian fiction is a wonderful addition to a growing group of authors who able to create exciting works of fiction using lesbian characters richly, deeply, and with the dexterity that any fictional reader would enjoy, not just the niche set of lesbian readers.

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Review: Dark Wings Descending, by Lesley Davis

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A Good Beach Read, Although Not Much More than a Dark Urban Fantasy Police Procedural

One classic form of dark urban fantasy novel twists the typical police procedural story.   In the twisted form, the police detectives tend to form a special task force whose focus rests on solving crimes of a supernatural nature. The detectives in the unit generally often take on two types: the believer (who may possess some type of magical skill) and the skeptic put in the unit as a form of punishment. Generally, crime investigation revolves around a heinous serial killer, who represents the epitome of evil. What makes this rather formulaic sort of novel compelling rests in portrayal of evil/magic in a unique manner, the skill set of the investigators as dynamic, entertaining, or provocative, and that the plot takes the reader on an unexpected path, despite following a procedural formula.

Getting that teaser on the back cover or in the front synopsis about what may emerge, with all the potential fright, demons, and a glimpse into the psyche of the kick ass detective gives the reader the incentive, the thrill to not just pick up the book, but to dive in and get lost in the plot.   Dark Wings Descending, by Leslie Davis gave just that tease, the promise of an exciting journey into deviant, realms of evil. The lure of having a two female detectives, each with her own connection to the crime, and then, of course, their intersection with one another, made the book an instant grab for this reader.

However, shortly after starting Dark Wings Descending, the formulaic, procedural nature of the plot took control, offering nothing new to the genre.   Adhering to the stereotypical big city (Chicago) police department who has a Deviant Data Unit that investigates criminal behavior, speaks to the norm, rather than a twist. Having the lead inspector as a burn out, returning too early to work after an injury, thus vulnerable, as Det. Rafe Douglas does, has occurred in many other books; along with the standard serial killer who poses bodies. The book simply lacked inspiration, as well as finesse.   Dark Wings Descending offered the reader a plot that was hackneyed, in a genre that is quickly becoming passé because of the overwrought usage of such things.

If one seeks to get lost in a simple plot, procedural, and have a little fun with searching for evil serial killer, then the book will serve that purpose. A quick indulgence of Dark Urban Fantasy reading (because it is fun, isn’t it, to explore the psyche of the killer?), then pick up Dark Wings Descending, by Lesley Davis.   However, for something a bit more provocative, then maybe this may be a pass.