Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Aussie Book Review: Limbo by Amy Andrews


“Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’  fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child.

When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy.  So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t.

The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation.

Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.”

I was in a bit of a reading slump when I picked up my tablet to start reading Amy Andrews’ latest novel, Limbo – and what a way to come out of it!!! Amy drew me in from the opening lines by Dash and I felt myself slowly falling in love with this ex-cop/detective with twenty-seven years experience.

Three years ago, Joy Valentine met a friend of her older brother’s in a bar. One thing led to another and Dashielle (Dash) Dent became more than just a memory!

Now, after her international failure as a country singer on one of the world’s largest reality television shows, she’s back in her hometown working as a cadaver make-up artist in her father’s business. When the ghost of the dead woman she is preparing for burial appears and asks her for help, Joy knows exactly who to call on for assistance. After all, one night of passion is not all that her and Dash have shared and she knows that he’s the only other person who will believe her “woo-woo story”.

It’s not long after that Dash Dent, single father of Katie and disgraced ex-cop turned PI gets the rundown from Joy. Unfortunately, when they make contact with the police, they refuse to believe there is a possibility that little Isabella could still be alive but it doesn’t take much for these two to put their heads together to try and solve the mystery.

As they try to solve the puzzle of the missing child whilst getting on with their everyday lives, Joy’s presence brings the unresolved sexual tension (with the assistance of Simone and Ralph) to the fore and it’s not long before Dash begins to think of the feisty but caring young woman as more than just his friend’s little sister.

Together with Katie, who stole the show with her little personality; Eve, a brothel madam who has a beautiful soul; Stan, an ex-communicated minister who  displays unusual messages on his Church’s outdoor sign and who also has no qualms about playing AC/DC in Church; and two horny goldfish going by the names of Simone and Ralph, Limbo makes for some great mystery, suspense and self-combustible love scenes with Amy capturing all the salient elements of what I enjoy in a novel – character, depth, emotion and oh baby, some lip-smacking sexy scenes.

Her dialogue flows naturally from the day-to-day lives of Dash and Joy, adding meaning to their everyday trials, tribulations (and speculations about Ralph and Simone) which helps her create fully-drawn characters with the humour being an added benefit to the story as it balances out the sexual tension which totally boils off the pages.

While Amy may feel she has gone out on a limb in breaking with her traditional romances and giving her readers something different to what they have come to expect from her by using elements she’s never attempted before (see an interview held with Amy at AusRom Today), after reading Limbo I can honestly say that, while she may feel that way, for me (a long time reader of romance and all its sub-genres), her combination of comedy, mystery, suspense and romance is an absolute winner and I’d go so far as to say that both Stephanie Plum and Erica Jewell may very well have a rival in their midst – believe me when I say you will not want to miss this!

In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I highly recommend this to all lovers of the romance sub-genres.

I’m excited that this is the first in a new series and I can’t wait to see how these lovable and quirky characters grow and what they get up to next. Can I just say that I’d like the second book now please!

I wish to thank Escape Publishing for providing me with an eGalley proof of this novel.

About the Author


Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written over fifty contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets.

She has written for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Entangled, Harper Collins, Momentum, Tule and Escape and sold over a million books which have been translated into thirteen different languages including manga.

Amy spent six years on the national executive of Romance Writers of Australia including a two year term as president and after many years of unofficial mentoring of emerging writers, Amy and her fellow Harlequin author Anna Cleary have started their own manuscript assessment business, Word Witchery, which specialises in romantic fiction. With unique insight into what makes a story that sells, Amy and Anna aim to help every manuscript shine.

Amy loves good books, fab food, great wine and frequent travel - preferably all four together. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

2 comments:

  1. Great review - I really enjoyed this as well!

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    1. Thanks Deborah - I can't wait for the next one :)

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