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TWELVE STEPS AND A RAZOR

From rock bottom there’s nowhere to go but up…

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Jul 10, 2011: The opening chapter of Twelve Steps has a horrifying "scare you straight" scene – Liz wakes up half dead from alcohol poisoning in a strange apartment covered in several bodily fluids you would not want to wake up covered in. After recovery in hospital Liz has few options so accepts her father’s offer to go back to her old hometown to live under his strict guidelines. There’s also an issue of a suitcase of money which she mysteriously finds in her trashed apartment, brings with her, but surprisingly does not do anything else about for some time. Bit by bit, elements of Liz’s past life in the LA underworld start catching up with her and things progressively get crazier as she tries semi-successfully to hang on to sobriety.

12 Steps and a Razor was engagingly written – the characters and places come alive and I was interested to see if Liz could pull together her trainwreck of a life. As with some of the other novels on this site, there are moments when my suspension of disbelief collapses and it plain doesn’t make sense to me why a character is doing what they are doing, or a plot twist seems contrived . . . .but on the whole it is amazing how neatly this and the other novels weave together and yet stand alone. The stories have a feel of boundless energy and depict extreme situations vividly. Their fun is in being somewhat larger than life – to varying degrees depending on the novel. Twelve Steps is one of the more realistic ones as it deals with the issues of addiction and surviving past mistakes.

The very best stories on Emmy Jackson’s site, in my opinion, involve the slightly unbalanced but irrepresible movie-quoting racecar enthusiast, Lexi – don’t miss Red over Black, and Race to the Sun.

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