Thank you to Lou Aronica at Story Plant, for sending me a copy of Earl Javorsky's Trust Me, when I was having problems downloading it through NetGalley. Lou came to my rescue and due to the mix-up, I also accidentally discovered Christopher Slater's hilarious novel, Pup. The mistake on Netgalley, ending up being a benefit to me!
PLOT - Earl Javorsky's suspense/crime novel, Trust Me, follows an ensemble cast through the city of Los Angeles. Several beautiful women have been turning up dead around the city from apparent suicides. When Jeff learns that his sister, Marilyn, is the latest victim, he strongly suspects foul play. Jeff sets out to solve the mystery of his sister's death, which seems to point to her involvement in a local cult. Jeff's detective efforts are further complicated by his own issues, which include owing money to drug dealers and being investigated by the police. Jeff meets Holly Barnes, an actress who becomes involved with the Saving Our Lives cult, as she is trying to escape an abusive relationship. Will Holly be the next cult victim? Can Jeff solve his sister's murder before the rest of his life catches up with him?
LIKE- I like stories about cults. They are mysterious and a bit kooky. I can't imagine what drives people to join them, which makes for fascinating and flawed characters. I highly suspect that the Saving Our Lives cult is modeled after something that really exists, probably in Los Angeles. I so intensely curious, that I wish I could call up Javorsky and ask him. Javorsky- if you're reading this, inquiring minds want to know?
Javorsky has assembled an interesting cast of characters and he has given them high stakes. I kept turning the pages to see how they could possible get themselves out of their sticky situations, especially Jeff. This is very much an ensemble story, but if there has to be a main character, Jeff is the guy. He a very strong character due to the duality and conflicts in his behavior. On one hand, he's a nice guy trying to look after Holly and figure out his sister's murder. On the other, he is a drug dealer and many of his problems are self created. In Trust Me, he has the opportunity to make better choices and be a better person, but he is constantly under tremendous pressure. I enjoyed following him, because he was a loose cannon.
Admittedly, I don't often read thrillers or crime novels. This was a fun, fast-paced read and a nice change from my normal picks. It was very cinematic.
DISLIKE - I was very hooked on the story until the last quarter, where the climax and resolution fell flat for me. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the excitement and mystery that drove me through the novel, rarely putting it down, slowed at the end. I read the first 3/4 in a couple of days, but it took me over a week to finish the last 1/4.
RECOMMEND - Yes. Trust Me is entertaining, suspenseful and filled with memorable characters. Fans of the genre will probably eat it up.