Loose Strand: R.J. Roles
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know RJ before he released any works through the Books of Horror Facebook page and some mutual friends. Then, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him release his first book (Girl’s Best Friend) and then grow as a writer. The leaps and bounds he made from GBF to his short story that appeared in the anthology If I Die Before I Wake Vol 1.
KR: You can read the Kendall Review for Girl’s Best Friend HERE
Now, RJ returns with the sequel to Girl’s Best Friend.
What I liked: Book one followed the story of Janney, a girl who had a mysterious tiny friend, as well as some unique powers. Book two picks up some time after and we are introduced to a new location with some new characters. The story itself occurs primarily in a law firm, under the rule of a despicable lawyer. He is ruthless, rude and sexist. For the role throughout, his character was well done. As things continue, Janney is reintroduced and we learn more about her back story and why she has a new vendetta in this particular story.
What I didn’t like: Two things really – too many characters with name’s starting with J, which may cause some confusion and one of them – the original secretary, Jill, was completely unnecessary overall to the story. I became invested in her right away, then off she went, not returning (because of a very specific reason) until the ending. I wished that RJ either gave us more of her, or hadn’t have included her at all.
Why you should buy this: If you liked book one, book two delivers and it looks like RJ will have a third in the series based on how this ended. RJ is an up-and-coming voice in what I would dub ‘dramatic-dread,’ horror. The two books so far are character pieces that have some violence but nothing overly done and it is all purposeful. RJ makes you feel and root for characters and as he continues to grow in confidence, these characters will grow and transform as well.
I had a lot of fun with this one and I think fans of RJ, as well as book one, will be very pleased with the sequel.
When bigshot lawyer Brenton Wright’s secretary falls suddenly ill, Jess Fuller is sent from a temp agency to fill in. After longtime employee, Hannah, shows Jess the ropes, they quickly ignite a friendship that runs deep. One day, the husband of one of Mr. Wright’s clients lashes out at the lawyer during an ongoing divorce case. Jess is shocked to learn the man’s identity and the ghosts of her past come back to haunt her. In the thrilling sequel to Girl’s Best Friend, Learn exactly why some good deeds never go unpunished.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can follow Steve on Instagram @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here