Nine One One By J.D. Webb

Nine One One By J.D. Webb
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (34 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Jennifer Menlo loves her 911 dispatcher job, and especially loves helping people. But one desperate call from a brave seven-year-old leaves her with a yearning to do more, even though that’s strictly prohibited by the police department. The boy discovers his mother’s body and when he calls 911 for help Jen discovers the boy’s home is not far from where she lives. She doesn’t hesitate to offer more than a helping hand.
Little does she know that a murderer who has killed once will readily chose a second victim if that person threatens to reveal the killer’s identity.

There’s no such thing as the perfect murder. Anyone who tries to get away with this kind of crime is bound to leave a few clues somewhere. All Jennifer has to do is figure out where to look.

The first scene was such an intense and exciting way to introduce the main characters. Talking to a child who has just discovered that his mom had been violently attacked stay calm seems like it would be a huge challenge. I couldn’t wait to find out how Jennifer would react to that situation and if she’d be able to keep the boy distracted until the police arrived.

It would have been helpful to have more clues about who killed the victim. The narrator spent so much time describing other parts of the case that I was perplexed when the murderer was revealed. It felt like that section came out of nowhere. I’d really been enjoying the storyline up until that point, so it was a little disappointing to read that scene.

Jennifer’s backstory was well done. In the beginning I wondered why she seemed to know so much about how crimes are investigated and what kinds of things the authorities look for when trying to figure out what happened in a case. The answer to this question was definitely satisfactory, but it also made me want to know more about her past. She was such a smart and motivated character that I would have loved to spend more time listening to her talk about everything she knows.

Nine One One is a good choice for anyone who is in the mood for a fast-paced mystery.

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