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Reviewed by Francine Zane for Readers' Favorite
In Deviant Acts by J.J. White, Vietnam vet Jackson Hurst transforms from heroin addict to private investigator, thanks in no little part to a desperate aunt seeking to save her daughter from the hands of kidnappers. The daughter, Cheryl, is the epitome of the overly protected child who rebels against her mother in an attempt to find the freedom to be her own person. As with most rebels, danger and legal issues follow her.
J.J. White does an excellent job of incorporating the essence of '60s culture into this dynamic story of growth, intrigue and deception. While the story's hero, Jackson, is by no means an angel, in the grand scheme of things, his personal sense of ethics and family loyalty, and his live and let live philosophy make him likeable. In fact, all of the characters in Deviant Acts are so well developed that I had no problem keeping them straight.
While Deviant Acts is by no means a study in innovative writing styles, the author did an exceptional job in drawing me back into the era, and in writing a compelling story that kept me turning pages and ignoring the clock. I could almost picture Jackson sitting on a dirty mattress somewhere, with a joint in one hand and his long, straight hair pulled back in a ponytail, writing the story in his voice, capturing the details that mattered to him. And to me, that is what makes for a good story - the element of intimacy that makes me a believer.