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Southern Fatality: A Jersey Barnes Mystery    by T. Lynn Ocean order for
Southern Fatality
by T. Lynn Ocean
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Jersey Barnes, a private security specialist, has just retired from her risky career when her main squeeze asks her for a favor. A woman from his past is afraid that her husband is cheating on her. This very wealthy and influential man proves not to be unfaithful but his son is kidnapped and then the fun begins. While following the husband, Jersey discovers a fraudulent scheme that would cheat millions out of a staggering amount of money.

Fortunately Jersey has friends, maybe not in high places, but in places that count - like a computer nerd who can access anything anywhere in the world. Ox, a Lumbee Indian, is another dear friend who runs her bar, The Block, on the water in Wilmington, North Carolina. He not only works for her but works with her and covers her back when necessary. They make a good team.

Jersey is a great character with an amazing background. It would be fun to make her acquaintance. She knows right from wrong and has a conscience that won't allow her to knowingly do wrong. With a great figure, courtesy of the United States Government, she attracts both handsome men and some of those who only think they are handsome. She can handle them all.

The rest of the characters in Southern Fatality are real life-like figures. Love 'em or hate 'em, they ring true. Action? Plenty of that. Life is never dull around Jersey. Her father Spud is an absolute scream, not to be missed. His schemes to rid himself of a car he's no longer allowed to drive made me laugh out loud. Names that appear are imaginative. Soup, for example. The plot moves along at a fast clip - almost too quick for me. I hated to have the book end. Southern Fatality is a real fun read.

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