For those of you who don’t know, Steven M. Moore is an “indie” SF/Thriller author who writes in several series (though he’s more or less tying them all together, ala Isaac Asimov and all of his various novels). His latest series features a “Dangerous Miss” (I don’t know the Spanish off the top of my head), Maria Jose Melendez, also known as Mary Jo. Trouble has seemed to find Mary Jo since she left the navy. She seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But really, she was never exactly in the wrong place at the wrong time — circumstances conspired to put her in those positions, whether by coincidence or by design. Everything comes from the events of the first book, where Mary Jo has to travel the globe trying to stay one step ahead of numerous government agencies while trying to avenge the death of her sister and brother-in-law. Now there are those who want to find out what she knows and won’t allow anyone to get in between their goals.
As usual, Mary Jo ends up in a job that seems to suit her, but ends up drawing trouble to her. She has Russian assassins on her tail, as well as some sort of Feds and…surprise! A stalker! And not just a stalker…a serial killer psychopathic stalker.
Moore’s plot is a tightly woven affair which features well drawn characters who grow throughout the book and become stronger and better people due to their interaction with our heroine. The book keeps the right amount of pacing and suspense and even crosses into a bit of my realm, serial killer/horror. (But not too much…nothing really graphic here.) There’s even a tinge of romance as Mary Jo and her PI/bodyguard Mario hit it off and a few sparks fly.
In my mind, this book surpassed the first of the Mary Jo Melendez books (titled MUDDLIN’ THROUGH). I read it pretty much straight through. One of Moore’s better offerings, and that’s saying quite a lot, what with the Castilblanco/Chen series and the MIDAS BOMB and SOLDIERS OF GOD.
You can check it out on Amazon here: SILICON SLUMMIN’ (And Just Gettin’ By)