A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, October 9, 2014


R&B Investigations is under attack. Their employee is shot in the back as he enters the building, and a hacker is trying to compromise their secure network. While the Boston police investigate the shooting, Bogie McGruder needs to find the culprit who is trying to put them out of business.

Bogie and his partner Rose Jones can’t disclose their internet problems to the cops since Bogie is a hacker himself.

Bogie McGruder returns to Boston with his four- year-old daughter Isabella. He joins up with Rose Jones’ uncle Walter who is fresh for Lompoc Prison. Bogie and Walter strengthen their firewalls while they try to determine who is behind the invasion. As the R&B team hones in on the culprit, they uncover several murders and discover a plot to wipe out the financial institutions in Boston.

While Bogie is in Boston, his extended family in Palm Beach becomes enmeshed in a sex scandal that threatens to ruin lives and careers in the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.

Feeling like a wishbone about to snap, Bogie tries to handle problems in both cities while Isabella continues her quest for someone to teach her the Five-Point-Palm-Exploding-Heart technique as seen in Kill Bill Volume 2.

This tale of murder, revenge and greed takes the reader on a whirlwind trip from Boston to Palm Beach and back. Buckle your seatbelt!

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The Girl in White Pajamas
When Officer Bud the PR face of the Boston Police Department is gunned down, his brother, Bogie McGruder, returns from Palm Beach for the funeral. Since the BPD is investigating the death of one of their own, Bogie believes his trip to Boston will be a short condolence visit and a chance to meet his secret love child.

But interacting with a family fueled by alcohol and mired in scandals, Bogie is reminded why he does investigations for his Boston based company from a computer in Florida. Although Bogie wants to contact his ex-lover, Bailey Hampfield, he’s reluctant to do so since Bailey dumped him four years earlier. Knowing that Bailey had his child after she cut him loose, Bogie ponders how he can establish a relationship with the three year old daughter he’s never met. While he thinks about it, Bailey gets in touch with him and asks for protection. Someone is trying to kill her.

By the time Bogie meets Isabella, it’s apparent that he still loves the mother and adores the child. Bogie tells himself that he’s not interested in the BPD investigation into Bud’s death, but he continues to be drawn into it while trying to discover who is attempting to kill Bailey. The investigations seem to parallel each other, then intersect and become intertwined. As the story develops, Isabella, a precocious child obsessed with martial arts, slowly becomes the focus.

The underlying theme of this mystery is lies. Everyone seems to be running on lies and half truths. The only pure and true character is The Girl in White Pajamas.

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About the Author
Chris Birdy was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, she did a four year stint in the Middle East. When she returned to the States, Chris settled down in the Boston area and became a true Bostonian by collecting college degrees while raising a family.

For more than twenty years, Chris has been a member of the legal community performing investigative work for Boston law firms conducting business in rough housing projects and crack house neighborhoods.  Several years ago, while sitting in a courtroom with a client, Chris watched as a police officer was lambasted by an attorney. The attorney was defending a young woman who crashed her car into two other vehicles before she passed out drunk behind the wheel. The occupants of the other cars were seriously hurt and the cop, a former EMT, tried to assist the injured while waiting for ambulances to arrive. The attorney questioned the cop's every move, shredded his testimony and made him seem inept. Embarrassed, the cop returned to his seat beside me and muttered, "Everybody lies. The judges lie, the lawyers lie, the witnesses lie.."  Chris wanted to tell him not to worry that in about five years he'd be just as good a liar as they were. The seeds for The Girl in White Pajamas were planted in that courtroom.

Chris lives outside of Boston and in Palm Beach, Florida with her husband.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

The Girl in Black Pajamas  #2The Girl in Black Pajamas #2 by Chris Birdy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Girl in the Black Pajamas by Chris Birdy is a 2014 publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This second book in the series begins with the shooting of one of Bogie's men and it's obvious someone has it in for R & B investigations when it comes to light a hacker is trying to break into confidential records. If that weren't enough for Bogie to contend with his twenty year old daughter, Amanda, has not grown up emotionally one iota since we last heard from her. She is spending money faster than the speed of light and expects her father to pony up her property taxes for her. Bailey discovers that even though her second child is not even a year old, she is once again pregnant. But at least we still have Isabella, the charming and precocious child we grew to love in the first book. Once more, the story shifts between Boston and Florida.

This book seems to focus more on Amanda and the pickle she has gotten herself into with her friends. But, with Bogie out of town working to discover who is trying to take down his business, Bailey steps up to the plate and gives Amanda the low down on how to keep her home, her husband and do it without breaking any laws. In the meantime, Bogie is responsible for “Izzy” and well, she's quite a handful. The child has developed a love for the movie “Kill Bill” and has seen it countless times. This theme crops up all throughout the book. I would have liked to have seen a lot more of Isabella than we did and I would have liked the mystery Bogie was working on to have been more in the forefront of the book instead of all the family drama involving Amanda. However, I was relieved to see Amanda finally show some maturity towards the end of the book. She is still just a child in many ways, but, she does know right from wrong and we see her take charge of the mess she created by actually getting a job. Her long suffering husband will sadly take the brunt of the antics Amanda's friends are up to. I also thought it was high time Bogie laid down the law to Amanda, which he did and I think this and Bailey's insightful understanding has finally forced a breakthrough with Amanda. I still shutter to think what will become of Isabella since it seems her parents still don't have a handle on her and she outwits them by leaps and bounds.
The mix of heavy family drama against the backdrop of crime makes an interesting combination. I will admit the first book was a challenge for me. This one is too in many ways as I found myself wishing I could intervene and tell these people a thing or two.
This author has a talent for developing quirky characters that we can't decide if we like or not but still cheer for, which gave me pause. I don't know how to describe this one because it's not just a family drama, and there is a mystery and serious crime to solve, but it's not the entire focus of the book. In fact, it sort of takes the backseat, except on a couple of occasions when things get pretty tense.
Overall, I once more found myself unwittingly sucked into this story, unable to look away as this family just keeps right on doing what it is they do. Somehow it all works out in the end.
So, even though this is an unconventional mystery or crime drama, it is certainly original and I think that is part of it's charm. Isabella will be their biggest challenge and their most rewarding one too. She will be the glue that holds them all together for better or worse and I do hope we get to see how she turns out. Overall this one is 4 stars.

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  1. Sounds like a great book to get into, my hubbie has already read this one as well as the first one now he is eagerly waiting for book 3 !!

  2. I normally don't like family drama but enjoyed theirs. I can't wait to see what book 3 has in store for them.


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