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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
B-SIDE: From a Screenplay by Janis Jones and Jason Rohan is a police procedural mystery novel written by Janis Jones. Casey Terranova’s expectations for the special cake she had ordered from her friends’ bakery were, if anything, exceeded in spectacular fashion. The Egyptian motif worked perfectly. Casey set up champagne in the ice bucket and left the cake in pride of place on the table nearby. She had made a special dinner and was waiting for Mara to come home. Mara, for her part, had gifts all ready to help celebrate their anniversary and called to let Casey know she’d be a little late. Casey understood that lateness came with Mara’s job as a detective, even as she was still a bit uncomfortable with the fact that Mara and her partner, Derek, had been an item at one point. Life was good for them. Casey had inherited their beachfront house, and worked as a bartender while she grew her business as a photographer and silk-screener. She was just hanging up the phone when she heard a knock on the door. A florist’s delivery man stood there, his body dwarfed by the extravagant bouquet of agapanthus, her favorite flower. She excitedly opened the door to let him bring the arrangement in, but then she realized something was very wrong.
Janis Jones’ police procedural/crime thriller novel takes a brutal and probing look at the anger and sense of aggrievement that fuels hate crimes and the impact it can have on the victims’ lives. I especially enjoyed the author’s focus on Detective Mara Bays in her capacities as Casey’s lover and as an officer involved in investigating the attack on her. I could feel her tension and frustration in having to dispassionately listen to the “boy-talk” at the station, particularly with regard to Casey, and lamented the fact that, in this day and age, she felt her relationship with Casey had to be kept a secret from her job. Jones does a grand job of following Casey’s recovery as well as charting the procedures that the detectives follow in their hunt for her attacker. Her characters are well defined and authentic, and her plot works very well indeed. B-SIDE: From a Screenplay by Janis Jones and Jason Rohan is most highly recommended.