I’ve known Lulu Smith (not her real name) online for a few years now. Among other things we’ve bonded over our judgmental animal companions. She has feline office assistants, who find her lacking. My dog’s side eye has an international fan base. She has talked about her writing process for a couple of years, so I knew she had a book coming soon. When she offered a copy in exchange for an honest review, I jumped on the offer. I jumped, and then I froze, because what if I hated it?
Good news – I didn’t hate it. I actually enjoyed it.
Ally Brown has a great boyfriend, lives with him in a nice apartment in Manhattan, and a well paying job at his father’s law firm. She’s miserable though, because all the stability and security has killed the edge that fueled her stand up comedy. Now she’s lying to her boyfriend about where she spends Wednesday nights, not doing comedy sets. On one bad day, the indignities of life build up and she snaps. She murders a man who was rude. We start with her looking down at the dead man, back track to see how she arrived at this point, and then move forward as things spiral further out of control.
Smith gives Ally a pop culture sensibility that many Pajibans will appreciate – fans of Supernatural and Firefly in particular. She’s quippy, scattered, a terrible employee and has a wonky moral compass. I found it relatable that as Ally descends into vigilante justice, she knows that it is not ok and that her friends and boyfriend will not back her up. She does find an unlikely ally and really pulls her shit together.
As the book progresses, the thousand details and pieces that Smith has been throwing out start to come together and the story tightens. At some point before I hit the halfway point, it stopped being my few minutes before sleep time read and became a cannot put it down read. It’s a good escapist read with a little vengeance fantasy. I’m looking forward to more books from the author. There’s a lot of potential for a great Ally Brown series.