Slip Out the Back Jack: Willow Rose

Book 2 in the Jack Ryder Series, ‘Slip Out the Back Jack’, picks up where ‘Hit the Road Jack’ left off. Readers will revisit Cocoa Beach single dad/detective Jack Ryder as he copes with two simultaneous mysteries. First, Jack’s new girlfriend & famous country singer, Shannon King, has been receiving cryptic emails. Although they began years ago, the author hints towards violence to come & that he or she is doing it for Shannon. No stranger to erratic fans, Shannon initially blew off the emails, but in light of certain events, she knows it’s time to involve Jack.
Meanwhile, we learn of missing grandfather, Stanley. Having disappeared after a car accident, we first encounter Stanley while he’s being held captive. Like most kidnappings, it won’t be pleasant for Stanley, but he’s hardly expecting the extreme treatment he receives. Who would want to force feed plate after full plate of food into someone? Poor Stanley isn’t even sure what he’s done to deserve this, but someone wants to feed him until he bursts.
Like Stanley, Jack has a full plate. Between trying to find the MIA grandfather & deciphering the emails to Shannon, he has three kids to watch out for as well as keeping an eye on Shannon’s abusive ex-husband. Everyone seems to need Jack & that’s the way he likes it.
Willow Rose keeps her imagination busy, that’s for sure. She certainly has a knack for including obscure methods of murder. This novel is a prime example. No doubt it’s a gross method, but unique nonetheless. Our new villain is creative & alert readers will notice certain similarities between recent headline news events & things that inspire our antagonist.
Jack continues to be a bit too accommodating to the people in his life. Shannon, who started off as a strong heroine type, begins to cave into a weaker, less likable Shannon. I definitely preferred the debut to this sequel, but I am holding out hope that Jack will rise up to the challenge of Book 3 when it arrives. I still give it a 4 star rating.

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