Friday, December 08, 2017

Lullaby to a Jitterbug (Avon Calling!, #10) by Hayley Camille

At the end of the previous episode, we were left dangling on one heck of a cliffhanger. Donny and his mugs had the drop on Betty and were holding a gun to poor George’s head. Their daughter, Nancy, was racing little Georgie to the nearest hospital after he’d accidentally inhaled heroin. (He’d thought he was smelling sugar.) When Georgie had reacted to the drug she picked him up and ran for it, discovering hidden strengths and abilities she didn’t know she possessed: she was stronger and faster than any girl is supposed to be.

Betty, too, reaches deep within herself to take her battle with Donny and his goons to another level and defeats them with the sudden arrival and assistance of Detective Jacob Lawrence. Jacob tells Betty that he’d gone to her home before coming to her aid at St. Augustine’s Home for Unwanted Boys, and that her front door was open, the kitchen a mess, and the children nowhere to be found. He produces the jeweled jar that held the heroin. Betty reaches out with her mind and eventually connects with Nancy. She sees her thoughts and discovers what has happened. Betty comes clean with George at the hospital as they wait for Georgie to recover, and they spend the following weeks coming to terms with his new knowledge and understanding about Betty and Nancy.

Jacob though has uncovered a secret file at City Hall on Betty that shows the government is watching her and her associates (including himself, perhaps) and is trying to determine her possible agenda and usefulness in regards to the war effort.

With the exposure of Donny Pinzola and his affiliates, the focus of the story is swinging back to the war. Actual tidbits of history are woven into the narrative – war rationing, the draft. Also, the characters are becoming so well developed that one feels like they know exactly who they are dealing with and what they might be capable of. In this 10th entry in the ongoing Avon Calling! series, we get even more background information on Betty (Susie) and her life before George. I recommend this series, in order, it is episodic in nature, to those that like action and adventure set during the war, and look forward to the next installment.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader copy of this book.

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