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Posted March 4, 2012
Reviewed by Fiona I. for Readers Favorite
You can’t keep a good reporter down. Heroine Julie McNamara was introduced to readers in the first book in the series, entitled "Johnny Walker’s Red". In the second book, "Johnny Walker’s Black", Julie manages to get herself into and out of an assortment of scrapes with panache. Julie’s busy schedule and her job-hunting efforts precluded her from finding time for romance in the past. Not so now. In a surprise twist of fate, Julie ends up dating Evan Wilson, the attorney representing the investment group that bought out Polaris, the magazine where Julie worked, and which fired her. However, Evan did her more than a good turn. After a brief and disastrous attempt at being a paparazzi, and exposing a human trafficker (which involved Julie getting locked in a padded cell among other indignities), Julie’s amazing story secured her a job as an investigative reporter for the L.A. Times. How high can a girl fly?
In the thrilling sequel to "Johnny Walker's Red", our intrepid reporter answers the call when Johnny's thoroughbred race horse is stolen while in transit from Kentucky to California. Johnny asks Julie to help locate the horse. Although Johnny does not think highly of the local sheriff, Julie’s observations make a big difference in the investigation. Meanwhile, a young man has been charged with bank robbery, and begs Julie to help clear him. After visiting him at the jail, Julie leaves, convinced of his innocence. Her efforts to get to the truth lead to some startling revelations and change lives. Julie is also involved in covering a story about a big construction company’s involvement with bribes and kick-backs. Does it never end? And what about Julie’s fledgling romance with Evan, whose every attempt to set up a romantic date is thwarted by Julie’s commitment to her job? A man’s patience can only last so long.
The author has created a great heroine, and fleshed her out even more in the second book. Although it helps to read the first book to get in tune with Julie and her jumping-off point in her new career, the author has deftly interspersed the nuggets of back story to fill in the gaps for readers. Again, the style is well-paced, with barely enough time to draw breath before Julie is uncovering the next turn of events in her evolving stories. Julie is a likeable girl, and her compassion and sense of ethics wins readers over. The book picks up with previous characters that shaped Julie’s world and have become like old friends. This is a highly enjoyable read: a bit of romance, a lot of action, and some nice twists and turns in the various plot lines that abound. If you are looking for a fun read with an interesting angle, this is the book!