The characters in PASADENA by Sherri L. Smith make this
story sing. The cast is
full of diversity and even the characters we only get a
glimpse of are realistic and complex. Smith's skill for
creating nuanced characters is evident, particularly through
her main character. Jude is tough, gritty, holds much pain
inside her, and her devotion to finding the truth is
powerful. Her grief is a kind not always seen in books, but
so important to highlight, as the expressions of grief vary
widely in different people. For Jude, it takes the form of
anger, lashing out, and even some self-destruction. I also
have a soft spot for her friend, Joey, whose charm and
sweetness can't help but offer a few grins to the reader,
even as fragile hearts are on the line.
While the characters are fantastic, the mystery plot fell a
little flat for me. The initial build up on potential
suspects was great, but the pacing eventually takes a slower
turn. The ending twist was somewhat disappointing, though
all the major questions are answered.
PASADENA by Sherri L. Smith is a quick, engaging story that
transports readers to the dirty
underbelly side of a town called Pasadena where friendships
might be as thick as blood but are rarely honest. Fans of
Veronica Mars will devour this intimate mystery.
Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and
When Jude's best friend is found dead in a swimming pool,
her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it
suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone
has to pay.
Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude
is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave.
Anything to get closer to the truth. But that's the thing
about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is
sacred. And Jude's got a few skeletons of her own.
In a homage to the great noir stories of Los Angeles,
award-winning author Sherri L. Smith's Pasadena is a
tale of love, damage and salvation set against the backdrop
of California's City of Roses.