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Double Cross: A Novel

A book by James David Jordan

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Great Premis, Disappointing Execution

  • Oct 8, 2009
Former Secret Service agent, Taylor Pasbury, greatly admired and respected her client, Simon Mason. His death, by the hands of terrorist profoundly impacted the lives of his daughter, Simon Mason Ministries, and Taylor. Before his death, someone was attempting to blackmail Simon because of an affair many years prior which lead to the birth of a son. In addition to blackmail, it was also discovered $500,000 was missing from the ministry's funds. After an internal audit, all indicators point to Simon's assistant Elise. However, when Taylor goes to meet with her, she finds Elise has committed suicide. It becomes quickly apparent that rather than suicide, Elise may have been murdered. Those of immediate interests are ones who know about Simon's child, which are very few people. One of them happens to be the child's mother--Taylor's mom, who has been missing from her life for 20 years. Her sudden reappearance as these events unfold, begins the reconciliation process, as together they start to unravel the truth.

Double Cross is the second book in a series featuring Taylor Pasbury. I have not read the first, Forsaken, but was able to follow the story without feeling lost. Quite a bit of back story was given and Jordan made it very easy for new readers. After reading Double Cross, I'm not sure there's much reason to go back and read Forsaken. It felt as though the plot of that story was revealed to the point where there is little left to discover by reading it. Since these two appear to be closely connected, if planning to read Forsaken, it is probably better to read it first. Otherwise, dive right into Double Cross.

It's difficult to read about things we know well, without nitpicking the details. I live in the Dallas area and am well acquainted with some of the locations mentioned. Unfortunately, I know them well enough to wonder why I couldn't figure out where Jordan was talking about, or in one case, knowing that the location of a meeting site was vague enough that it was likely the person wouldn't arrive at the correct location. The landscape and in one case the building structure did not fit what would be found in the area. There's nothing wrong with creative descriptions and embellishments, but when read by someone that is familiar with the area, it gives the book an un-researched feel. If I didn't know these things about the area, it probably wouldn't have bothered me. Knowing them, though, was distracting and kept the book from feeling realistic.

The premise for Double Cross sounded intriguing, but the execution was a bit weak. It didn't take long to unravel the plot and know who was involved. There were some rabbit trails, but those are resolved rather quickly, leaving only one person who could be responsible. For a significant portion of the book, I kept wondering since it was so painfully obvious Elise was murdered, why were the characters even considering the possibility it was a suicide. As soon as the officers saw the note and realized the laptop was missing, the suicide issue should have been resolved and a full scale murder investigation started. Instead, the cops pretty much looked like idiots and Taylor a bit slow to grasp the truth.

For a book that had some action, there wasn't a lot of suspense to go along with it. I never felt as though the characters were ever in any real danger. A lot of time was spent developing the plot, but when it came right down to it, there wasn't much new plot. Quite a bit of time was spent with events of the past, with not so much on the present. It also felt like there was an effort to save storylines for future books. Double Cross really needed more plot with some stronger suspense to make it feel complete.

The highlight of the book was Taylor's quirky mom. She was obviously unstable, but added a nice bit of humor to an otherwise serious story. At the end we do get a glimpse of how her personality is a little deeper than the superficial display we initially see. We are rewarded with some good insights and the book closes on a very positive note regarding her character.

Double Cross had great potential, but it fell short of my expectations. Taylor could be a great heroine for future books, but those books need to have a more focused, concentrated plot than this one. It wasn't a bad story by any means, there just seemed to be too much filler and not enough meat.

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More Double Cross: A Novel reviews
review by . January 16, 2010
James David Morgan knows how to grab the reader and keep them for this page-turner, DOUBLE CROSS. I was impressed with the opening sentences, "The day my mother came back into my life began with a low December fog and a suicide. Mom was not responsible for the fog." Wow. I could not stop reading and turning the pages quick enough.    This second novel was well-crafted and I loved it. After reading two of Jordan's novels, I will be watching for the next one. I highly recommend …
review by . December 28, 2009
I had a blast reading the first book featuring Taylor's character, Forsaken, and was eager to read more about her adventures. I had really liked Jordan's style of writing in the first book and how he had managed to create a female character who was both strong and vulnerable at the same time. I was not disappointed when picking up the sequel and continuing Taylor's story. Once again, Jordan is able to write convincingly as a first person female. Too many times, other male authors try to write in …
About the reviewer
Melissa Willis ()
Ranked #209
A little bit about me. I read primarily Christian fiction. My favorites are suspense, with supernatural elements always being a plus. I most enjoy books that will keep me thinking well after I'm done … more
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About this book


Double Cross continues the story of Taylor Pasbury, a heroic young woman introduced in James David Jordan’s novel, Forsaken (“highly readable . . . Taylor is a character worth another visit” —BookPage).

Raised by a father who was a former Special Forces officer, Taylor is beautiful and brilliant and knows how to take care of herself. But she is haunted by her past and the sacrifice her father made to save her from a brutal rape when she was seventeen. After a controversial stint in the Secret Service, she has become the most prominent private security specialist in America. When she discovers the body of a former client’s top assistant, all the evidence points to embezzlement and suicide. But Taylor has no way of knowing that her mother, who ran out when Taylor was nine, is about to reappear and lead her down a twisting path of danger and deceit. It’s a road that won’t end until they reach the spot where Taylor’s father died—where Taylor learns some sacrifices can never be earned.

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ISBN-10: 0805447547
ISBN-13: 978-0805447545
Author: James David Jordan
Publisher: B&H Books

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