Thursday, July 13

The Next Ex by Linda L. Richards

Review by Pat Brown

I really enjoyed this book. First I fell in love with the title. It's kind of like that joke - "I'm always on the lookout for the next ex"

The Next Ex is a Madeline Carter novel. Madeline is a ex-New York stockbroker who now lives in L.A. and does day trading. I know nothing about the stock market beyond buying low and selling high. Richards makes it seem interesting and even understandable. (Though I still have no plans to actually try my hand at it)

Madeline is hired by Keesia Livingston to teach her how to trade online. Keesia is married to Maxi Livingston, the most powerful producer in Hollywood. At an A list party Madeline is invited to, she stumbles on to Keesia's murdered body.

Shortly after another of Maxi's four ex wives is found dead, a third is attacked and nearly killed. Madeline is convinced the murders are all related. When an attempt is made on her life, even the police begin to believe.

It was an enjoyable story, with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. My only beef was when Madeline discovers a clue in a company that was only recently publicly traded. She knows the name of the company but can't seem to find out any useful information. But she does find out what the company manufactures. She doesn't know what the substance used in the manufacturing is - all she hs is a name. But instead of doing what even a vaguely literate computer person would do - Google it - she remains ignorant. I did an online search and had no trouble finding out the substance's identity. So why didn't Madeline? She's computer savvy - she spends her days trading and studying online. Later on she casually Googles something so it's not like she's ignorant of the process. My feelings where that the author needed her to remain ignorant a while longer so she never did what should have been second
nature for plot purposes.

But really, that was my only beef. I highly recommend this book. Madeline is smart and funny, and even when she gets herself into trouble, there isn't that sense of 'oh how could she be so stupid'. She makes it seem logical, which I figure is all I can ask of a writer.

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