Monday, March 14, 2022

One Got Away by S.A. Lelchuk

 
First Line from Prologue: The U-Haul truck was parked alone at the back corner of the big lot.
 
When Nikki Griffin isn't running her bookshop, The Brimstone Magpie, she's a private investigator who specializes in abuse cases. When a wealthy San Francisco family hires her to track down the con man who's been defrauding its octogenarian matriarch, Nikki is on a mission. She isn't a fan of men who hurt women, and that secret mission of hers-- born of revenge and trauma-- is to do everything she can to remove women from dangerous situations... and to punish the men responsible.

However, it doesn't take Nikki long to realize that no one is telling her the whole truth. This case soon overlaps with another in which she's trying to protect a woman in trouble, and Nikki finds herself in danger. She's going to have to make some difficult decisions about who to save and how to keep herself alive.

~

After reading S.A. Lelchuk's first Nikki Griffin novel, Save Me From Dangerous Men, I knew I'd be back for more because I fell in love with Nikki Griffin's voice. Also, there's just something about a character who risks her own life to protect the vulnerable, isn't there?
 
I have to admit that the story in One Got Away didn't hook me nearly as tight as the first book did, but I think that has more to do with me than the book itself. With my recent fiction and non-fiction reading, I'm beginning to wonder seriously if there are any decent wealthy families to be found... or are they all degenerate slimeballs? The book also deals with ruthless gangsters and the ways they love to earn their money.
 
While Lelchuk kept leading me into temptation with a parade of bad guys that made me want to help Nikki level the playing field, he also led me to some marvelous characters. The man mountain (AKA Butch) made a good menacing sidekick for Nikki, and there were other characters I enjoyed, but my favorite was young Mason, a little boy with a troubled home life and a heart filled with hope. A little boy who knows how to come prepared with a Hermione Granger-like backpack. I really wish we could see him in future books because Mason completely and utterly charmed me.
 
There were two things that kept me reading One Got Away even though I'm sick to death of degenerate rich white folks. One was the characters. The second was January LaVoy, the narrator. She was perfect, both as Nikki's voice and as the voice of all the characters. Male, female, young, old, it didn't make a difference. LaVoy gave a masterful performance, and I'll certainly be looking for her name in future audiobooks.  

I'll also be looking for Nikki Griffin's next adventure. I like being her companion as she protects the vulnerable.

One Got Away by S.A. Lelchuk
Narrated by January LaVoy
ASIN: B08GCZ3KRD
Macmillan Audio © 2021
Audiobook. 10 hours, 46 minutes.
 
Private Investigator, #2 Nikki Griffin mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Audible.

15 comments:

  1. Nikki reminds me just a bit of Sophie Littlefield's Stella Hardesty, Cathy. She, too, has a 'regular' business and a 'side' business of dealing with men who abuse women. Have you read that series? At any rate, Nikki sounds like a great character. And don't get me started on rich, degenerate people. Just. Don't.

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    1. Yes, I have read Littlefield's series. In fact, I mentioned it when I reviewed Lelchuk's first Nikki Griffin mystery.

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  2. Nikki, as you describe her, does seem like a very relatable and sympathetic character, one that a reader wants to see succeed.

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  3. I may look for the first book, especially since you liked it even better. Yes, degenerate families, corruption in politics and policing, and serial killers seem to predominate the genre and give a hopeless feel to humanity.

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    1. It might seem rather strange that I can tolerate corruption in politics and policing-- and serial killers-- more than I can degenerate families who believe whatever they want is fine and that the law applies to everyone else but them.

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  4. Nikki Griffin sounds like a great character. I think I need to give this series at try, just so I can meet her. :)

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  5. I missed your review of the first book, but am definitely adding it to my list after reading this - thanks!

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    1. I think Nikki is the type of character you'd enjoy, Kate.

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  6. Sounds like an interesting book. Mason reminds me of The Distant Dead's main character and the little boy in We Begin at the End.
    And I am glad that Stella Hardesty was mentioned. I read one book featuring her and had forgotten about it.
    This is one audiobook I'd like to try, given the praise for the person speaking.

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    1. I thought LaVoy did a marvelous job with all the various voices. I've listened to enough audiobooks by now that I know that sort of talent is rare.

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  7. Denise Mina makes her rich characters the bad guys in many of her books, and the working-class folks the good guys and gals.

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    1. It's rather difficult not to when all is said and done. Especially if you hail from a working class background. Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless and all that...

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