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Five O’Clock Shadow    by Genie Davis order for
Five O’Clock Shadow
by Genie Davis
Order:  USA  Can
Zebra, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Jessie Adams is relatively content with her life: she loves her job as an indie-rock D-jay despite listeners' demands that she play the Richard Harris version of McArthur Park every time it rains - a daily occurrence lately. And okay, after her most recent break-up with another insecure musician, maybe she's the not the best judge at picking a man with staying power. But who needs a man when you've got a best friend like Lisa? When Jessie learns that Lisa could well lose her popular music club to re-zoning, she decides to run for the vacant council member spot and if elected, do her best to sway the vote in Lisa's favor.

There's a very short time frame before the election and Jessie digs in to learn everything involved in running for office - particularly the in's and outs of campaigning, and getting to know her opponents. She soon discovers they are a diverse and often eccentric lot, particularly those few who'll go to some very creative lengths to attract attention and votes. Add to the mix her accidental and sizzling romance with self-confident detective Frank Jackson, and Jessie's got her hands full. But once candidates begin dropping dead and Jessie herself gets a series of scary threats (urging her to back out of the race or suffer the same fate), she's glad Frank's covering her back and keeping her safe at night.

Genie Davis has written a fun and breezy story. Jessie is a delight. Through her first person narration and introspection, she examines and re-examines her whirlwind relationship with Frank and questions her own wisdom in running for office. But ever the loyal friend, she's determined to go down fighting. Frank is a great love interest; he charms his ladylove into believing that their attraction and uncanny ability to reach the same conclusions at the same time (he calls it their 'Vulcan mind meld') prove their meeting was anything but a rainy day accident. A nice cast of secondary characters adds zest, as do Jessie's many music references, making Five O'Clock Shadow an entertaining romance with just the right touch of mystery.

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