A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, August 7, 2014


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.


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The Girl in White PajamasThe Girl in White Pajamas by Chris Birdy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

If you like the Lisa Lutz style mystery novel you will like this one. Set in both Boston and Florida the story tells the sordid history of a wealthy family that married into blue collar. Both sides were a little morally bankrupt. We have Bud, who has just been murdered. Then , Bud's brother, Bogie, travels from Florida to Boston to be with his sister, Ann. Along for the ride is Bogie's 18 year old daughter, Amanda who is also pregnant with an on and off engagement, and who is rapidly spiraling out of control.
Back in Boston, Bogie is reunited with the love of his life, Bailey. He and Bailey have had an on again, off again relationship for many years, and it's no secret Bailey has a child by Bogie, named Isabella. Bailey neglected to inform Bogie he was father, although he already knew about it. Bailey appears to be in a jam, Amanda hates Bailey, but loves her little sister, and now that there has been a murder, Bogie will have to get to the bottom of things.
Isabella is a show stealer. A cute three year child with a really high intelligence level, she sees and knows a lot more than people give her credit for. While the death of Bud has opened up a can of worms, the family will have few more skeletons fall out of the closet. The family matriarch, Elizabeth is losing her mind with dementia , and is hardly aware of the goings on.
This novel is one part family drama, one part mystery. I think this first book, in what appears to be a possible series, was an ambitious undertaking. While there were not many characters in the book, save Isabella, that were very likeable, for some reason I found myself unable to stop reading about this train wreck of a family. So, if you like a story that is more about the characters and their personal issues with just a bit of crime solving in the background you will enjoy this one. That isn't to say this is not a crime drama, because it is. But, the family and it's secrets are very much the focus of the story. Things that occurred in the past have had devastating effects on some people and they live with the lies, betrayals, greed, and lust that shaped the them for better or worse. Amanda is a character that just drove me nuts. I almost cringed when she appeared on the scene. I am terrified by the thought this girl is about to become a parent!!!!

Now, because this has caused me issues in the past, I am going say this- with CreateSpace listed as the publication, I am ASSUMMING this is a self- publication or Indie. Having said that, the book is just too long. An editor would do wonders here, not because of grammatical errors or typos, but to trim the book down just a little. Zany and odd duck characters work better in small spurts. If it goes on too long, it starts to lose it's charm. This nearly happened to me a few times with certain situations and characters. Bailey got on my nerves, Bogie sometimes needed a wake up call, especially since his actions in the past brought on a lot of what was happening in the future, and I never got the idea he had a lot of regrets or suffered from a pricked conscience. He was too busy thinking about himself to be a good father to his daughter, Amanda, and now he is a parent of a precocious three year old that deserves better. But, when Bogie had a health scare he did grow up just a tad, and now it is possible he might step up to the plate and be the parent Isabella needs. This saga will continue, in “The Girl with the Black Pajamas” which will be released in next couple of months.
I didn't Love this book but I did like it enough to sign on for second book and to give this one a 3.5 rounded to 4.


  1. This one is on my tbr pile although hubbie's already read it he's looking forward to the next one in the series :-)

  2. I told my best friend she looked nice in yellow. Probably not the biggest lie, but the most recent.

  3. I really enjoyed this book. I agree it was a bit long though.


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