August 8, 2013

Braine Reviews: Roadkill by Alexandra Allred + Giveaway

Series: Allie Lindell 1
Format: Print ARC
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop
Source: Publisher
Genre: Mystery & Suspense - Women's Lit
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When dead prostitutes begin to appear along the rural roads of Ohio, Allie Lindell cannot stay away despite the odds—the odds being her badge-toting sister; her partner, who only wants Allie to stay home and out of harm’s way; and two little girls in full potty-training and tantrum-throwing modes. But when an old friend from The Columbus Dispatch calls with an intriguing job opportunity, Allie can’t turn her away, Allie breaks all kinds of promises to track the killer, heat up a cold case, and discover what happened to a fallen police officer. As she navigates the backstreets of Columbus, following pimps, prostitutes, sullen teenagers, and seedy gamblers, the only thing more complicated is remembering all her aliases.

Enlisting the help of her neighbor, and with the annoying voice of Snow White drumming through her head, Allie and her newfound sidekick will have you falling in love with this wonderful cast of modern heroines with day-to-day problems. Gay, straight, sleek and sexy, or rumpled and ragged—no matter how much they bicker, they’re a mighty force when they all come together. Heigh Ho!

Roadkill is the first in a series in which a former journalist and at-home mom discovers she has a knack for investigating murders. While she longs for the crazy deadlines and adult conversations, she also wants to stay home and care for her babies.

With Disney tunes, tantrums, and potty-training woes on her mind, Allie Lindell must learn to juggle the highs and lows of her family and a career she never knew she always wanted. This is the funny, sometimes aggravating, ultimately heartwarming story of a woman trying to give everything to her kids, keep the love of her partner, and not lose herself in the process.
ROADKILL by Alexandra Allred is Allie Lindell's series, former obituary writer now moonlighting as an investigative journalist while taking care of two toddlers with her partner, Rae Ann. Allie's fascination with criminal investigation and justice is a combination of boredom and a true passion for whodunit mysteries. The feel of ROADKILL and the series is a mom-jeans version of Janet Evanovich's, Stephanie Plum, series. The novel is filled with different female archetypes ranging from bad girls, career oriented women, and mothers and tackles women's issues like friendship, sisterhood, motherhood, career and murder (?).

ROADKILL has overlapping mysteries and issues. Aside from the dead refrigerated prostitutes left on the rural roads of Ohio, Allie is also investigating the case of a fallen dead cop. The mystery/suspense element is focused more on Allie's investigations than the crime scene itself. Allie's task was to interview witnesses and persons of interest under the guise of a news blogger. Aside from these murders, Allie also struggles with balancing her family life. She has two toddlers with her partner, Rae Ann, and their relationship has become strained since having the kids and Allie's pseudo private investigator gig is making matters worse. The tension between Allie and Rae Ann is my favorite part of the story. Their relationship is just like a husband and wife, two people overwhelmed raising a family while trying to maintain a semblance of their former selves. However Allie and Rae Ann's friendship is so strong I'm touched by their loyalty to each other. I don't know what will happen between these two but I'm rooting for their marriage to survive.

The murder mystery was also a surprise. The culprits behind the killings and the fallen cop and how its related to each other was something I didn't expect. The identity of the person responsible for killing the cop in particular made my jaw drop. I feel sympathetic to the perps family but at the same time, they are victims themselves. It's a case of victim retaliation and the example presented in ROADKILL is harsh, disturbing and unexpected. I honestly don't know what to make of it except I felt so sorry for the outcome.

There is something about AAllred's prose that speaks to me. She writes these offbeat stories that gets you thinking long after the story's done. Her novels are far from formula, the common theme is her stand-out heroines and their all-too-real stories. I find them extraordinary not because they possess great beauty or exceptional skills, they're beguiling because they remain soft and feminine but still exhibits strength without appearing to be Alpha male-wannabes. Allie's exasperation over her unraveling relationship with Rae Ann and meeting the demands of her toddlers while trying to have and make something for herself is something a lot of working moms or even career oriented women can relate to. It's side themes like this that really gets me engaged to the story and AAllred is very adroit with the dialogues and the scenarios to accentuate Allie's personal and professional struggles.

Women's fiction may not be a popular genre right now but personally, its stories like ROADKILL that gives me the most satisfaction. I feel so relaxed and engaged while reading these types of books and Alexandra Allred fast became one of my favorite writers in this genre. Her stories are charged with issues like feminism, racial and gender equality, equal rights and the like while making us laugh at her self-deprecating characters and teary with their heartfelt drama. Looking forward to reading book 2, Sweetbreath, coming out this December.
Why was it that no one gave a rat's ass that a bunch of women were slaughtered by some psycho who was still out there? Was it because they were prostitutes that it didn't matter? Did it not matter at all that they were mothers, daughters and sisters first?


  1. Oh, this sounds good! I've never heard of it before. After Truly, Madly, Deadly I could go for another mystery! Great review! :)

  2. Wow! This sounds intense. Great review babe!


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