Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Old Blue Line (Review)

(Joanna Brady, #15.5)

Publisher: Witness Impulse
Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Genres: Adult Mystery

My Review: (3.5/5 stars*)

The Old Blue Line is a novella prequel to Jance's Joanna Brady series. It takes readers full circle to Butch Dixon's life previously to meeting the familiar Sheriff of Conchise County, Joanna Brady. This is, however, not about her character, but about Dixon—her husband. If you enjoy Jance's writing as much as I do and are looking for a short, light, mystery read set from Butch's perspective than you won't be disappointed. Even new readers will be able to grab this and follow along because it works well as a standalone.

Losing everything to a deceptive and cheating ex-wife should have destroyed Butch, and it almost nearly did. If it weren't for his grandmother he'd still be wallowing in misery. She took him in, gave him a home, and later, left him her restaurant called the Roundhouse to run. All of this is threatened one afternoon when—years later—he's approached and interrogated for the murder of his former wife. It seems that even after her death she has managed to damn him again by making Dixon a prime suspect in her case. It's now left up to Butch to figure out whose setting him up before he ends up losing his future to the same woman who ruined his past.

Butch has an interesting history that's comprised of a lot of hurt. When we meet him he's already moved on from his past, but now he's dropped in the middle of a homicide where he's the #1 suspect. It brings up a lot of long buried feelings and allows a deeper side of his character to be revealed. The road to proving his innocence is winding, and takes a few turns you wouldn't expect. I enjoyed the detours and eccentric side characters he encounters that aid him on his quest of discovering why he's the accused, and whose really responsible for the mess. I found Butch's backstory not overwhelmingly exciting but nevertheless compelling. It's fun to view things from his perspective and dig around in his past, and see more dimension from him than you'd not otherwise get from Joanna's POV.

Overall The Old Blue Line treats readers to a short Dixon-centric story that is a nice addition to Jance's long-running series.There is something really special about how Jance writes, and it keeps you coming back for more. So long as you go into this one for Dixon and not Joanna—she only makes a brief cameo towards the end—than you won't be let down.


Butch Dixon has been taken for a ride …

Not a jump in the car, see the sights kind of ride. He's been taken for everything he has. He's lost his house, his restaurant business, his savings, his car, his best friend, his faith—all to his conniving ex-wife. But that was seven years ago. He picked himself up, left Chicago, and started over in Peoria, Arizona, running the Roundhouse Bar and Grill. He doesn't look back on those bad years; there's no point. Not until two curious cops show up at the Roundhouse.

Faith, Butch's ex-wife, has been murdered, and the evidence points to him. Stunned, Butch quickly realizes that the black-hearted woman is going to ruin him again, from her grave. Lucky for Butch, the Old Blue Line, a group of retired—but still sharp and tenacious—former legal and law enforcement coots, have taken it upon themselves, as a favor, to make sure he doesn't cross that thin line. After the dust settles, Butch's life is again upended—when a little red-haired ball of fire, Sheriff Joanna Brady, takes a seat at his bar.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...