Friday, October 21, 2011

The Return of Jonah Gray

The Return of Jonah Gray, by Heather Cochran.

So people sometimes tried to avoid me. Sure, I might have wished it was different, but I was an excellent auditor. Not everyone could do my job. Not everyone could build lives atop quantitative foundations or look beyond numbers to the events and decisions that put them there. The best auditors love to unravel the story that lurks in the data, to see hidden meanings and solve the puzzle. They have an eye for detail and great powers of concentration.

At least, they should, and I always had. Only, sometime earlier this month, I had started to drift.

This is Heather Cochran's second book, of two total, and the first was Mean Season, which I read a few weeks ago and liked as well. In this novel, Sasha Gardner works for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which most Americans love to hate. Because of this, it's sometimes hard for her to find guys to date, once they find out her occupation. When she gets to do a random audit of someone named Jonah Gray, though, she soon finds herself receiving complaining calls, from Jonah's friends and neighbors and website readers, who ask her why she is doing that to him, when he is such a good person. Her curiosity about Jonah leads her to delve deeper into his life, and she likes what she sees on paper; but what about in real life?

Sasha is a compelling character, and the banter in the first chapter is excellent. I could definitely see this book made into a movie. My only complaint is - POSSIBLE SPOILER - that Jonah himself does not pop up until the very end; I wouldn't mind a sequel being made that details the exploits of Sasha and Jonah, but at the same time Sasha's story has pretty much been told by the end of Jonah Gray.

I am hoping that Ms. Cochran writes more novels in the future, as well; on her website, I don't see anything listed as "in the works." Check out both Jonah Gray and Mean Season while we wait for more, however, as both are fun, great reads.

4 stars out of 5.


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