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Other People's Problems

Length: 277 pages4 hours


Ann “Jetter” Trailey’s life has fallen off its tracks. Kicked out of college and saddled with a drug problem, she has managed to find an oasis of safety as part of a small Internet site catering to voyeurs. There, she drifts through long days putting on a sexy performance for the cameras, finding moments of joy and friendship and dreading her weekly journey into the real world to buy heroin.

But safety is fragile. The army of fans hooked on the pleasures of the Web site has grown restless. Day by day, evidence suggests the location of their house is no longer a secret. As Jetter and her friends rush to figure out what is happening, windows are broken, one woman is attacked and no one knows who to trust.

In the end, her world falls apart. Jetter’s best friend lies dead and she is alone in the world, forced to confront the mistakes she’s made and the long road back to a life she can be proud of. But Jetter has something no one else, even the police, has — a trail to follow in the form of a teenage boy who once showed up blushing at the front door of the Web site’s home. Bit by bit, she begins picking up clues and questions that bring her closer to the murderer. She encounters the people who run things in the darker corners of Miami, and discovers they have plans for the Web site and the people who live there.

In Jetter, I’ve tried to create a character who is funny and intuitive but less cynical than most fictional private eyes. Written in first-person, she approaches each situation with an open-mindedness I think readers can relate to. She encounters friends who stab her in the back, criminals searching for their own sense of belonging and help in unexpected places.
The close world of the people who inhabit the Internet site was fun to create, as well as the life Jetter finds outside its walls. It’s a quick read utilizing sharp, spare language I believe avoids many cliches of genre fiction.
The story concludes with Jetter on the verge of discovering a career path as a reporter, ready for her next mystery.

Other People’s Problems is a slightly off-center take on the private-eye novel, introducing a protagonist trying to rebuild her life as she gets tangled up in dangers she never wanted or imagined. It is humorous, a bit racy and human, with scenes of action and tension.

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