DEADLINE by J.J. Livingston Reviewed

J. J. Livingston
June 9th, 2015
Suspense Publishers

DEADLINE by J. J. Livingston, a pen name for Jennifer Greer, is a fascinating read. It explores many issues women face including their treatment in Middle Eastern countries, and the timely issue of stem cell research. But it is also a book that everyone can relate with, through the action packed plot and the issues of trying to cope with PTSD, hold onto a job, being a single parent, and empty nest syndrome.

As a former police reporter she is able to use her past experiences to write a very realistic and believable plot. The main protagonist is Whit McKenna, a tough and driven journalist who seeks out the truth. She is a former war correspondent who had to overcome rape, torture, and her husband being killed in Afghanistan. Ending up going back to Medford, Oregon to raise her two children, she eventually finds a job at the local paper. Thinking that will be a safe environment for her two children, she finds out otherwise when a string of murders occur. While seeking out the truth about a certain clinic and attempting to connect the dots about the different killings, she must also cope with disturbing flashbacks about her time in Afghanistan. After writing a number of front-page articles McKenna receives the ire of the killer who will stop at nothing to silence her.

Some of the most potent scenes are the descriptions of McKenna’s time in Afghanistan. Livingston describes the rape, the beatings with kicks, punches, and tree branches at the hands of Al Qaeda insurgents. But most powerful was this quote, “John (her husband) felt helpless and couldn’t stand watching me suffer…He shared my pain. I think he may have felt the same way about Afghanistan.” It brings into focus the real war on women and how hard it is for rape victims to cope. DEADLINE is a riveting and informative thriller. In addition to a fast paced and suspenseful plot it has well developed characters. Anyone that enjoys a story with a lot of twists and turns should read this book.

Elise Cooper