Book Review: Shades of Jade: A Novel (Strivers Row)
Publication Date: Jun 19, 2001
List Price: $13.95
Format: Paperback, 272 pages
Parent Company: Villard
Borrow from Library
Book Reviewed by Thumper
I was debating on whether I should start this review by writing All Hail The New Queen. Why not? I'll only live once, so, All Hail The New Queen of AA mystery/suspense Gloria Mallette! Mallette has written the best, THE BEST, mystery/suspense novel that I have read in years! Shades of Jade is an ass-wiper! It's a fast-paced mystery/suspense novel that has one hell of an ending! Oh yeah, Miss Ann, this one is for you!
A little background: Marissa is a young AA woman that dates only married men. Right now Marissa is involved with three married men: Terrance, who Marissa believes is the love of her life; Louis, who gives money gifts and of the insatiable sexual appetite; and Wayne, who's more of a dinner and theatre companion than a lover. Marissa's close friend Charmaine and sister Denise have warned Marissa about fooling with married men, that one day she's going to run into a wife that don't play the sharing game. That day has arrived. Marissa starts receiving phone calls in which a woman calls her a slut and warns her to stay away from her man’or else. Marissa's world is soon turned upside down when the threats turns physical. Marissa's life is in danger and if she doesn't find the wife doing this to her, she's going to be dead. Oddly, enough the man who's willing to help Marissa is Levi, a man who Marissa considers beneath her. Will Marissa and Levi discover who's making these phone calls? Will Marissa survive long enough to know the truth?
As I stated above, Shades of Jade is an ass-wiper! I didn't think it would be. When I started the novel, I thought, Oh, another you-go-girl book. Within the first twenty pages, I changed that thought. What I read in Shades of Jade was a mystery/suspense novel in the vein that made Mary Higgins Clark and Joy Fielding rich and famous. I dare say that Mallette has even topped Mary Higgins Clark in my book. One of my favorite mystery/suspense novels is Clark's Loves Music, Loves To Dance. Shades of Jades is easily the better book. The novel read like a movie. Mallette developed her characters and the storyline so well that I had no problem envisioning the unfolding action.
I'm not going to even hint the ending that would spoil the book FOR REAL! What I will say about the ending is that it was MAGNIFICIENT, DA BOMB, and any other colloquialism you want to attach to it.
You all know that I love mysteries. They’re my favorite type of books. For the last few years I haven't been able to read as many as I would have liked, but I adore them. I'm saying all this to say that I'm not easily fooled when it comes to an ending. Years of reading mystery and accurately pinpointing the killer or guilty party within the first twenty pages is a skill one develops, or would like to think he does *smile*. I'm at the point where it's a game, a Name That Tune-type of game. Chuck, I can guess that killer in 15 pages. Well, Chuck, I can name the killer in 10 pages. Miss Ann, I know you know what I'm talking about. With Shades Of Jade, I had no idea! I was shocked! I was so shocked that I started screaming at the top of my lungs. A friend of mine read it, started screaming and threw the book across the room. There are not too many books that will cause two grown men to scream at a book. This one did.
Needless to say, I highly recommend Shades of Jade. As my friend told me, drop whatever it is you're reading and read Shades of Jade. Yes, the book is that good. Yes, the book is that tight. After reading it, you’ll want call hail Gloria Mallette too!