Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Review: Teaser by Jan Brogan

This is what I’ve learned so far about Rhode Island chat rooms.

Not everyone is from Rhode Island.

Correct spelling and complete sentences are signs of a newcomer.

And no matter what the supposed topic of the chat room, two-thirds of the conversations are always about sex. [excerpt from book]

Teaser by Jan Brogan
St. Martin’s Minatour, 2008
Crime Fiction (S/T); 291 pgs

Reason for Reading: The author approached me about being a part of her book blog tour. I was intrigued by the premise of the novel and decided it was something I would like to read.

Challenge Commitment Fulfilled: ARC Challenge, New Authors Challenge, TBR Challenge

Comments: We all have been warned about the dangers of the internet many times over, especially for children. There are predators lurking out there, sometimes pretending to be who they are not, preying on the young.

Jan Brogan’s Teaser takes readers into that world as Chronicle reporter Hallie Ahern investigates a possible sex ring involving teen girls. As a former gambling addict, Hallie has turned to chat rooms to keep herself occupied and out of trouble. One night Hallie stumbles onto what will become a career make it or break it story. She finds a video clip of two girls in a provocative situation, with a promise of more to come—in other words, a teaser. Hallie’s investigation into the video and her search for the two girls involved, lead her into dark territory. Drugs, sex, and murder are all tangled together in a complex web of conspiracy. The more she learns, the more complicated things become and the more danger Hallie finds herself in.

I instantly liked the character of Hallie Ahern. She has a reporter’s tenacity and dedication to her job, but she also takes time to think things through—even if at times she ends up going with her first impulsive thought. She is aware of the toll her choices have on her personal life, which is where her more vulnerable side comes out. Her live-in boyfriend is a prosecutor who has made sacrifices in his career because of his love for Hallie. In Teaser, Hallie finds herself facing difficult choices—follow the story and risk losing the man she loves or hand over the reins to someone else. Her quandary is complicated by the fact that she cares about what happens to the girls she meets on her quest for the news story. These warring factions only prove to deepen Hallie’s character, and endear her more to the reader.

The two teen girls, Whitney and Lexie, couldn't have been more different. Lexie comes from an abusive background and in many ways, for her, survival is her utmost priority. Whitney, on the other hand, comes from a solid but distant family. She is lured in by the attention and money and expensive gifts that come her way. Both girls are in over their heads. It was impossible not to feel sympathy for Lexie and Whitney. They played at being grown up and yet they were really just children, lonely and afraid.

Jan Brogan also takes readers inside the newspaper business, where the financial impact and worth of stories are negotiated and decided upon. I liked that the staff of the newspaper worked so well together (most of the time). They seemed like a real team even off on their individual assignments, and each of the characters in the newsroom were interesting in their own ways.

Teaser is a compelling novel that had me glued to the pages, turning them as fast as I could to find out what would happen next. While this is the third book in the series featuring investigative reporter, Hallie Ahern, it stands on its own quite well. I look forward to going back in the series and seeing where Hallie got her start.

Rating: * (Good +)

For more information about the author and her books, please visit the author's website.

Many thanks to Jan Brogan for her guest post yesterday and for providing me with a copy of Teaser!


  1. Whoa! You've gone gray... but I love the photo in the header!

    This does sound like an excellent book. Thanks for yet another great review.


  2. What a great opportunity to participate in her book tour. The book sounds intriguing. It is hard for me to resist a likeable, yet a little damaged, heroine. I also like to learn a little something along the way, and it seems that Jan Brogan has provided us with all of that. Great post!

  3. This book sounds quite intriguing. I'll have to be on the lookout for it. Thanks for the review!

  4. Great review! This book sounds really interesting, I like the fact that the main character is a investigative reporter.

  5. CJ - Thank you! Teaser was enjoyable. I'm glad I read it.

    I'm using one of the new blogger templates now and it's so much easier than what I'd been doing, which was using a completely independent template. The look is still growing on me.

    Sandy - Thank you! I really liked Hallie and am glad I got the chance to "meet" her. Like you, I thought the story line was very pertinent to today. A good warning to parents to be involved with their children's lives.

    Kay - Thanks! I hope you do get a chance to read it!

    Joanne - Thank you! Reporters make good protagonists for crime fiction novels, don't they? Their curiosity and determination to get their stories are just made for the role. :-)

  6. Hallie does sound like a great character. Thanks for the review.

  7. Love the new header! The book sounds good, and I will look into this series.

  8. Ugh. I hate chatrooms. This seems to be more and more common on the crime TV shows (Ghost Whisperer too) lately.

  9. OOo I like your new revamp!

  10. I love the quote you used. The quote itself is a teaser -- made me want to read the book!

  11. Forgot to tell you I like the new look!

  12. You are such a good writer! I definitely want to read this book!

  13. Your mention of chat rooms intrigued me. Just recently my boyfriend and I were talking about how as the internet and online relationships of every kind become a bigger and bigger part of people's lives, novels will probably start to reflect that. Yet you don't see it too often so far. Or maybe I've been reading the wrong ones :P

    I think books like this are important, because dreadful things like that DO happen. But I'd also love to read a book that accurately portrayed the positive side of meeting people online. Anyway, rant over :P

  14. Another excellent review. I like the premise of this story. The sad part is that it is so very true and not much is being done about it!!

  15. I like this one, Wendy. I think I'll check it out to see whether it's available locally. Great review as always!

  16. Love the new look and the teaser!

    Nymeth, I'm with you - I've met some of my best friends online. I've been posting in forums for years and the experiences, both online and IRL have been overwhelmingly positive. Maybe I should write a book!

  17. Sounds like a very interesting book! Love your blog :)


  18. Bookish Kitty, I love your new look!

  19. The book definitely sounds intriguing! And, is it me or does the main character remind you of Annie Seymour from Karen's series? I think I'll like her :)

  20. I love your new blog look! The header is so cute! Is she one of your kitties?

    I linked your review to the ARC Challenge post.

  21. Kathy - I really liked her. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders for the most part.

    Jenclair - Thank you! I hope you like it if you give it a try!

    Jen - I tried my hand at chat rooms many years ago, back when they weren't very sophisticated. It was an interesting experience--Hallie's observation that two-thirds of the conversations were about sex was very true. Of course, today there are a wide variety of chat rooms, and I imagine they all aren't like that.

    Monica - Thanks! I have a favor to ask of you. Note to self: e-mail Monica.

    Terri - That's a great opening, isn't it? It hooks you from the start. And thanks!

    Linda - Thank you so much, Linda! What a nice thing to say. I hope you enjoy Teaser if you do read it.

    Nymeth - I think you're right. You don't see the internet mentioned all that much as a major thread. J.A. Jance has a series out that features a blogger (among other things). I've only read the first book in the series so far, but I think that's pretty neat.

    Staci - Thank you! I imagine it is hard to police something like that, although the laws are changing and law enforcement agencies seem to be getting smarter about how to go about it. There's hope yet!

    Alice - I think you would like it, Alice!

    Lisa - Thank you! The book blogging community is pretty good too, I might add. I think there are a lot of good and decent people online these days, but unfortunately there is the bad element to contend with.

    LisaMay - Thanks so much! It was a good one. I'm glad I had the chance to read it.

    Bybee - Thank you!

    Iliana - Hallie isn't quite as sassy, but she shares similarities with Annie Seymour. They're definitely different enough so you don't feel like you're reading about the same character. I think you'd like her too. :-)

    Teddy - Thank you! I wish I could claim her, but no, she's not mine. I'm not a good enough photographer, I'm afraid. Although my friend says I just need a better camera . . .

    Thank you for linking my review to the challenge page!

  22. Sounds like an interesting book. As the mother of a young girl, the subject matter freaks me out.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  23. This sounds like a good read. I think I might have to look into it. Partly because I grew up in Rhode Island and I always like to see what an author did with my state...and how much they got wrong.

  24. Irish - Then you should definitely read it and tell me how accurate the setting is! :-)


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