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Monday, August 27, 2012

Jennifer Hillier: A New Voice in Suspense

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. Those of you have been with me the longest know that I just love sharing great new books or authors with you. Last year, I told you about Jennifer Hillier. In Creep, her fantastic debut, Dr. Sheila Tao is kidnapped and held by a serial killer that she knows. She knew him because he was her teaching assistant and because she had a sexual affair with him. Engaged to someone else, she broke it off with Ethan Wolfe, but he didn’t take no for an answer and very nearly killed her. It was only due to the efforts of Detective Mike Torrance, former police detective and now P.I. Jerry Isaac and Sheila’s fiancĂ©, Morris Gardener that she survived.

In the just released sequel, Freak, Hillier takes the story further as Ethan is out of the picture, but his girlfriend and partner in crime, Abby Maddox, is in jail for the crimes that either one or both of them committed. However, women are turning up dead all over Seattle. They are the spitting image of Abby Maddox and they have the phrase: Free Abby Maddox scrawled onto their bodies. Dr, Tao, Jerry Isaac, Detective Torrance and the surviving characters have their worlds turned upside down as they grapple with the manipulating psychopath that seems to be taunting and striking out at them from behind bars... That is until she gets out.

If you know me at all, you know that I live on my laptop - that is whenever I’m not at my 11 hour day job. I found this book to be such a page turner that I literally left my computer off until I had finished the ride. And what a ride it is! This thing has all the twists and turns of any novel out there.

I’d like to say something about twists and surprise endings. Sometimes these can be overdone. Have you found this? I recall watching The Dark Knight and thinking to myself that if the Joker was that far ahead of Batman all the time, how could he ever be caught? In the Dan Brown novel, Angels and Demons, I thought the first three quarters of the novel were brilliant, and then it had one twist too many for my tastes. Having said that, you may find this to be true about Freak. Had the series ended with this second book, I would have sided on that side of things; however, now that it appears there will be another chapter in the series, I think it works just fine.

I will state, unequivocally, that Hillier is a fresh new voice in fiction. Where some use the same tired formula, Hillier shakes things up, pushing the boundaries of Crime, Suspense, Thriller and Horror fiction to create a serious rival to the current crop of masters out there. Eventually she will be a household name. Of this I have no doubt.     

Hillier’s writing breeds three-dimensional characters that literally leap from the page. As a reader, you will believe that she is an expert in Psychology, police procedure and the penal system. Her perfect pacing leaves no room for anything as it plows forward, taking you on a rewarding trip that will cause you to stay up well into the night, take longer lunch breaks and perhaps even keep you off of the social networks (as I did) as you flip page after meaty page.

Hillier’s got the goods, my friends, and she delivers on all counts.

Now, before I go, I am pleased to tell you that we are making real progress over here at Dance on Fire headquarters (Sorry. Perhaps too much Starbucks has caused me delusions of grandeur). Dance on Fire: Flash Point is in the hands of an editor and I am pushing for an October release. I have the cover ready to go and will be revealing that next week. If any of you would like to reveal it on your site as well, I would love to hear from you. Until next week.

We'll talk soon.   


  1. You have written a great review, one that every author wishes written about their prose child. Jennifer must be very pleased. Thank you for following my blog. Next time say HELLO and chat awhile. Roland

  2. Jennifer is just awesome! I've so many books on my iPad, I still haven't had a chance to read Creep yet.


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