“Fine Line” is my first foray into the work of A.D. Justice and after finishing Book 1 only to find a cliffhanger, I’m on the fence about venturing farther into her world of fiction. Here’s why. The storyline has merit as it deals with spousal abuse and battered women specifically. The main characters, Nick Tucker and Savannah Fields, are reasonably well developed, although we get almost no background on them to help flesh them out. Then there’s Nick who’s nearly too perfect to be real. The plot involves a motorcycle gang, drug dealing, trafficking in women, etc etc etc. It’s one big cliche after another. Of course there’s the requisite bad guy, Butch, who’s Savannah’s former boyfriend, kinda sorta, who’s stalking her and Nick is hoping to get to him and teach him a lesson he won’t forget. Butch beats the crap out of Savannah and Nick declares war on Butch. And so it goes, on and on and on, ad infinitum. Did I mention it’s one big cliche after another? Oh yeah, right, I did.
On the writer’s side I’m trying to find a gracious way to phrase my comments. Ms Justice’s style shows talent in writing dialogue that is authentic, except for her love scenes which lack sizzle. They’re blah. Dull and tepid as dishwater. I’d like to see fewer redundant phrases such as “dropped down” “reduced down” and “trampled down”; “exit out” “raise up” and eliminate trite phrases such as “without a shadow of a doubt “ and “a rap sheet longer than my leg”. Those are all examples of either lazy or unimaginative writing. I feel sure Ms Justice can do better than that.
Whatever stock you may or may not put in my opinion, the storyline has merit but the execution needs work. I say this in the vein of believing that all writers want to be read and have their readers come back for more. Which means they want to continue to improve and hone their craft. How better than to have others review your work and give you their honest opinions? Three and a half stars.
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