Along Came December by Jay Allisan

She watched him die. She won’t watch his killer live. Eighteen months ago, homicide detective Shirley Mordecai witnessed a bomb tear her husband apart, and her life is still in fragments. Panic attacks threaten her career. Bitterness alienates her friends. And her husband’s killer is about to stand trial, pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.
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Mordecai’s poised to snap. But vengeance comes at a cost, and Mordecai still has a lot to lose. A series of murders has gripped the city, and Mordecai’s roommate and best friend is a lot closer to the investigation than she’d like. As the trial begins and Mordecai’s grief comes to a head, her obsession with revenge costs her everything she has left—including her best friend’s trust,
Alone, broken, and out of hope, it’s all Mordecai can do not to let the memory of the life she lost pull her under for good. But a knock on the door reminds her there’s another killer out there, and that her best friend’s still in the line of fire. Sucked back into the investigation, Mordecai finds herself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who holds all the cards—and knows exactly how to play them… (condensed)

A little about Jay first:

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Jay Allisan is a part-time writer and full-time daydreamer. She grew up on a steady diet of superhero comics and still wants to be Batman someday. While she’ll read and write just about anything, psychological thrillers and character-driven stories are right up her alley. Her writing is proudly fuelled by the red Lindor chocolates.
Jay currently lives in southern Alberta, where she works as a swim coach. Visit her online at www.jayallisan.com

Sherry Terry’s Review: 3.5-Stars

This is the hardest review I’ve ever had to give. Along Came December by Jay Allisan held a lot of promise with the cover and the blurb, but this book needs an editor. The story is over 130k words long, and I feel it could be cut in half to rid it of all the repetitive and redundant writing.
Jay Allisan has a great passion for telling stories and it shows with her research skills. The dialog is fantastic, and I feel it is very well done to help bring the characters to life. To really make them shine and feel more like real people they needed emotions and feelings, maybe some internal thoughts and the 5 senses. The story has a lot of grief, sadness, killers, crime, friendship, and moments that should be filled with excitement, but the writer tells me these things in a list type of style.
I think the characters are good, and if you enjoy a long, slow read you will like this one. I do think a little too much time was spent on the main character’s mental issues, and I find it hard to believe she would still have a badge and a gun after some of her behavior.
However, I feel with some good editing this story will really shine brightly and be a great read with a good plot.

RA Winter’s Review: 3.8-Stars

Along Came December by Jay Allisan,
I listened to this on an ereader.
This is a long involved story about a police officer, Shirley Mordicai, and how she deals with the death of her husband.
It starts out with a mystery, a suicide, that isn’t.
The story then takes an odd turn. She’s talking to a reporter and she goes well into the past at the start of her relationship with Max, another police officer, and her husband. It goes on for chapters.  Then we come back to the actual plot, the murders/suicides.
Her roommate is missing. Men are coming up dead. A new cocaine hits the streets.
There is a great plot in there and a story but it is lost a bit in the repetition, redundancies, and extraneous writing. This, of course, is a personal opinion. If there is going to be a sequel, I would advise the author to check out a critiquing society to work on those three factors in their writing.
This could be a powerful novel, it just falls a bit flat for me. I don’t want to discourage the author, I actually advise everyone to check out writing sites. The knowledge there can propel a writer from average to great with just a little work.
I think this book would have worked better if it was two shorter books in a series, each one on a single plot, written in real time.
The author wrote the whole book from Shirley’s POV and they did that very well. Her emotional ride from marrying her husband, his murder and then her life after is very moving.
It’s billed as a crime thriller. It’s also the story of life and loss. If you’re into police procedures, you might enjoy this too.

2 thoughts on “Along Came December by Jay Allisan

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  1. Interesting that R A Winter comments for Jay Allison to check out writing sites. Jay had this work posted on Scribophile where I did some critiques on it. I had the same opinion as both of you, that it was slow moving and would benefit from more action. Other than that Jay is an excellent writer and helped me quite a bit with spot-on critiques of ROK.

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