If you’ve never heard of the Dagny Gray FBI thrillers, The Bubble Gum Thief, or Jeffrey Miller, I am so sorry. Stop what you are doing and buy one of his novels now…I’ll wait. Done? Good, let us continue, shall we?
I have been fortunate enough to have been friends with Jeff through our Writer’s Group for several years. I have read quite a few of his works, from early chapters of his first book, to short stories, poems, and screenplays. He is a superlative writer, and offers thoughtful and thorough critiques. You can bet that anything Jeff writes is thoroughly researched and impeccably written. He immerses himself in the subject so completely, that what comes out on the page feels very real. He doesn’t overwhelm you with detail, but allows his knowledge of the subject to flow naturally through the characters and story. You really feel as if you are in one of his novels while you are reading it.
I am a huge fan of his main character, a female FBI agent, Dagny Gray. She is as flawed as she brilliant. And I just love her. I don’t think FBI thrillers are supposed to leave the reading practically in tears by the end of a book, but I was at the end of his first book. It was exciting, and heartbreaking, and bittersweet all at the same time. It was so satisfying, that I could not wait for the second book to come out. And now, here it is!
I was lucky enough to be included on a Beta read of Borderline Insanity. Regrettably, though, I was not quite organized enough to get back to Jeff with my feedback. Still, he allowed me access to a review version of the book a few weeks ago, which I have now read in time for the actual book to be released.
In this second installment, Dagny Gray is back. In this book, she is up against another killer, a sheriff reminiscent of Joe Arpaio and his tent city in AZ, a disillusioned priest, illegal immigration, and her own eating disorder.
If I had to sum this book up in one word, I would have to say that word is powerlessness.
Father Diego Vega is fighting against is own inability to help his congregation and his lack of faith. The congregation he serves feels powerless over events in their community. And of course Dagny feels powerless over her eating disorder and dealing with her own grief. How each person in the book confronts and overcomes or not their own sense powerlessness is really the crux of this novel. It is what propels the story and causes the most conflict.
Jeff does an excellent job weaving through very difficult issues in this story. I love how he delves into the psyche of each of his characters. His ability to do this allows the reader to connect on an emotional level with this story.
I loved this book as much as I did his first novel. I highly recommend this book to everyone, whether you like thrillers or not!