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Book Review: JOVE BRAND IS NEAR DEATH by J. A. Crawford

Ken Allen is a former movie star whose only movie role was playing the famous fictional superspy, Jove Brand, in Near Death, a movie so bad it was never meant to be seen. Eighteen years later, he is a personal trainer to the stars, and Near Death has developed a cult following. But when the current Jove Brand is killed in the same manner as the villain in Near Death, Ken becomes the main suspect. The only way for Ken to clear his name is to reprise his role as Jove Brand and find the killer himself.


In JOVE BRAND IS NEAR DEATH, the reader is plunged into the world of Hollywood film dynasties, bygone starlets, throat-crushing murders, and absolute mayhem. It is a fast-paced, fun romp that holds you hostage until you reach the end of the book. J. A. Crawford 's prose is reminiscent of Ian Fleming, if Fleming wrote James Bond as a self-deprecating masochist. His character, Ken Allen, is no superspy, but then he isn't meant to be. Ken is constantly comparing himself to his fictional alter ego, and always coming up short. That is what makes this book so fun to read.

Crawford has a real talent for injecting just the right level of sarcasm at just the right time. He mixes the humor with an action-packed plot perfectly to create an engaging and entertaining story. With a wealth of memorable characters, well-choreographed fight scenes, and a tight plot twists, JOVE BRAND IS NEAR DEATH is not only a farcical, tongue-in-cheek send up of the superspy film genre, but also a downright delightful book to read. It is, by far, the best book I've read this year.


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