Pocket, Jun 17 2008, $14.00
In Montrose in Silicon Valley, highly regarded men’s club Callahan’s changed ownership two months ago and consequently watered down the entry fee. It used to be old money, but now crass nouveau riche has changed the place into what is becoming a whore house instead of just female companionship.
Manager Jade Deveraux would quit if she did not need the money to support her sister Tina attending college. The latest affront is from Andrew Townsend who assumes she is a hooker. She warns him she will slice his balls off if he did not back away. The next morning a cop walking a beat finds Andrew’s corpse with his balls stuffed into his mouth; he asphyxiated on his maleness. Police Detective Jase Vaughn leads the inquiry, which takes him to Callahan and the enticing Jade. He and his partner Ricco Naza interview people and observe the activity especially when Otis Thibideaux from Louisiana accuses Jade of being trailer trash Ruby Leigh. Jase knows Jade is hiding something, but he believes it relates to Townsend’s murder instead of Bayou Country; however his biggest regret is that she is a hooker who he falling in love with.
This romantic police procedural is a terrific thriller starring two likable protagonists who neither want love in their respective lives, but cannot prevent the attraction. The story plays out on two subplots: first the whodunit and second what happened in Louisiana years ago. Fans will appreciate JADED even though the Silicon Valley serial killer and the motive are over the top of the Sierras.