FICTION

The Wicked Redhead

Morrow. (Wicked City, Bk. 2). Dec. 2019. 432p. ISBN 9780062660329. pap. $16.99. F
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In the Jazz Age 1920s, Ginger Kelly, an audacious flapper, her sister, Patsy, and Ginger’s boyfriend Oliver Anson Marshall, a disgraced Prohibition agent, flee New York for Florida. When Oliver is hastily reinstated by the agency and sent on a mission, he disappears. In his absence, Ginger and Patsy are lured back to New York by Oliver’s mother, a woman with ulterior motives, who drives a very hard bargain. In 1998, Ella, pregnant and separated from her cheating husband, moves into an old Greenwich Village apartment and unexpectedly finds love with neighbor Hector. With her ordered life now in disarray, Ella goes in search of the woman who once resided in her apartment, captured in a vintage photograph titled “Redhead Beside Herself.” Williams (Cocoa Beach) uses a dual-narrative approach to draw parallels between the two women. Ginger is the predominant character, while Ella, who lives a bit vicariously through Ginger, is a conduit between past and present. Ginger truly shines, but, unfortunately, the remaining characters are underdeveloped.
VERDICT A few tense moments of suspense and high-seas adventure liven up an otherwise lethargic plot in this sequel to the first book in the series, The Wicked City. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/19.]

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