INTENTIONAL STRANGER by J.J. Oxendine-a review
INTENTIONAL STRANGER by J.J. Oxendine
INTENTIONAL STRANGER is a novella written in the suspense genre by J. J. Oxendine. Released May 2012, Intentional Stranger follows wife and mother Grace Trenton as she deals with the aftermath of a horrific car accident that left her in a coma for several weeks.
Preparing for her son’s 3rd birthday, Grace begins to reminisce and realizes that her marriage has been slowly falling apart for a number of years. With her husband becoming increasingly distant, the move to a new town has not alleviated any of the family’s troubles as she had hoped. But a near fatal car accident will find Grace coming to grips with a reality she never knew existed and one that could not possibly be the truth. Waking from the coma, Grace’s only concern is for her son Ben. But the news about Ben was devastating. Not only was he dead but he had died from cancer 4 months before. And to Grace’s shock she didn’t remember anything about his death.
As the months continue, Grace’s depression and unwillingness to accept the death of her son, Mark demands that Grace seek counseling and gives her the name of a therapist he has consulted. As a counselor, Claire Matthews tries to get Grace to accept the death of her child by explaining the circumstances, but to Grace- Ben’s death is too hard to accept. And Mark’s anger at Grace will eventually force the couple to separate and file for divorce. But to Grace’s amazement, she will find Claire and Mark together, and not for professional reasons.
Finding herself alone, Grace befriends Jo-a café owner who offers Grace a position. As the friendship develops, Grace and Jo exchange stories of broken hearts and broken marriages. But when an FBI agent confronts Grace about her ex-husband’s possible link to money laundering and murder, Grace’s friendship with Jo may risk the woman’s life. And when Agent Gatlin finally reveals the entire investigation to Grace, Grace will suddenly find herself with Agent Gatlin hiding away in a secret location fearing for her life.
At this point, Gatlin may be developing feelings for his foundling client. Oblivious to the man’s charm, Grace’s concern for her friend as well as her ex-husband’s arrest will find herself coming face to face with Mark and Claire. But a surprise phone-call from the new owners of Grace’s former house, will find Grace with a boxful of memories and the missing information the FBI needed to indict Mark for his crimes. And a phone-call from Claire about some family photos will once again put Grace’s life at risk and the risk the life of someone she loves.
INTENTIONAL STRANGER is a short story. A suspense story with a few twists, J. J. Oxendine must be commended for grabbing the reader’s attention from the very start. A great short story that will hold your interest to the very end.
Reviewed by Sandy